NJ-11th Congressional District Voters Reject ACA Repeal/Replace

Independent Poll: Repeal/Replace, Medicaid Cuts, Planned Parenthood Defunding All Deeply Unpopular In District

In a result that mirrors longstanding concerns of nonpartisan group NJ 11th For Change, voters in the Garden State’s 11th congressional district emphatically oppose repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to an independent poll conducted last week.
 
Overall, only 24.7 percent support an outright repeal, while 58.7 percent want Congress to improve the existing law, and 10.5 percent say the ACA should be left alone. When asked specifically about the vote of their representative, 12 term congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, to replace the ACA with the House AHCA, voters rejected his actions with a similar 23.5 percent approval versus 59.7 percent disapproval of his vote for the bill in May.
 
The findings contrast starkly with assertions by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, that his constituents largely oppose the ACA. Frelinghuysen, whose support was key in moving a repeal/replace measure to the Senate, has not released data on constituent feedback. 

The independent poll commissioned by NJ 11th For Change surveyed 800 voters on key district issues. The representative sample reflected the district’s overall demographics, such as party affiliation, gender and age. NJ 11th For Change is one of the first local grassroots groups to conduct statistically valid Congressional District opinion research. The group is continuing to analyze the data and plans to share findings on additional policy issues besides health care.

“We advocate for accountability, transparency, and responsive representation for our entire district,” said Debra Caplan, Board Member of NJ 11th For Change. “Repeal/Replace has always felt out of step with our understanding of district values. These numbers certainly affirm that view.”

In another contrast to Frelinghuysen’s voting record, federal funding for Planned Parenthood had strong district support, with 72.6 percent backing continued support of non-abortion health services to women, as opposed to 22.7 percent wanting it eliminated. In addition, 66.7 percent oppose future cuts to Medicaid, while 20.7 percent support cuts.

The findings parallel the feedback heard at NJ 11th For Change events. Since January, members have expressed worries about the impact posed by drastic healthcare proposals – loss of vital services; financial burdens from lost or reduced health coverage; and the impact of Medicaid cuts on 70,000 district residents.
 
“Our members have held vigils, taken buses to Washington, D.C., and organized five district town halls, which Mr. Frelinghuysen refused to attend,” said Elizabeth Juviler, Board Member of NJ11th For Change. “This poll only adds credibility to eight months of their feedback. Our thousands of members truly reflect the overall feelings of New Jersey’s 11th district.”

Additional details on survey questions and polling methodology below.

A representative sample of 800 registered voters was called July 17-22 and asked for views on healthcare issues and the proposed replacements for the Affordable Care Act. Respondents were contacted via landlines and cellphones (60% used landlines; 40% cellphones). The sample was drawn from a list of district voters in the 2014 and 2016 elections; it carries a margin of error of 3.5%, for a 95% confidence interval. Calls were conducted by professional interviewers employed by Reconnaissance Market Research of Austin, Texas using CATI (Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing) systems. The research was funded by NJ 11th For Change, and the survey sponsor was disclosed to respondents only at the end of the survey, at the request of the respondent.

Q:  Do you think President Trump and the Republicans in Congress should repeal all of the Affordable Care Act, should leave it alone, or should keep the Affordable Care Act and pass improvements?
                        Repeal All                    24.7%
                        Leave It Alone             10.5%
                        Pass Improvements:   58.7%
                        Don’t Know/Declined   6 %
 
Q: As you may know, Frelinghuysen announced that he would oppose the initial version of the AHCA, the Republican Health plan, introduced in the House of Representatives, but then voted for the version which passed the House. Do you approve, or disapprove, of the way in which Frelinghuysen handled this vote?
                        Approve                      23.5%
                        Disapprove                    59.7%
                        Don’t Know/Declined  16.9%

Q. One of the features of the proposed plan is a significant cut to future spending on Medicaid, which provides healthcare to the poor, disabled, and those in nursing homes. Do you?
                        Support such cuts to Medicaid           20.6%
                        Oppose such cuts to Medicaid           66.7%
                        Don’t Know/Declined                          12.7%
 
Q. In your opinion, should Planned Parenthood continue to be allowed to receive government funds to provide non-abortion health care services to women, or should it not be allowed to receive government funds to provide these health care services to women?
                        PP should receive gov’t funding         72.6%
                        PP should not receive gov’t funding   22.7%
                        Don’t Know/Declined                           4.7%
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NJ 11th For Change is a grassroots coalition dedicated to advocating for all citizens of the 11th Congressional District. We expect our Representative to be transparent, accessible, and responsive – and we will speak up whenever these values are ignored. We are independent of any political party and welcome all who share these concerns. NJ 11th For Change started in November 2016, spurred by last fall’s election, and has grown to over 7000 members.

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