A Pew study indicates Americans are evenly split on whether the Affordable Care Act should be repealed. Pictured are demonstrators in Indianapolis, Aug. 26, 2013. Nate Chute/Reuters

Americans may not hate the Affordable Care Act as much as Republicans believe. Pew Research Center said Thursday Americans are evenly split on whether President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement should be repealed or expanded.

The survey of 1,502 adults Nov. 30-Dec. 5 indicated 39 percent think the law should be repealed while 39 percent think it should be expanded, and 15 percent said it should be left as is.

As would be expected, 76 percent of Republicans were in favor of repeal compared to 17 percent of Democrats and 35 percent of independents. Fifty-three percent of Democrats said the law should be expanded compared to 14 percent of Republicans and 44 percent of independents.

President-elect Donald Trump vowed during the campaign to repeal the healthcare reform bill but more recently has said some of the provisions should be preserved, such as coverage for pre-existing conditions and allowing children to remain on their parents’ policies until age 26.

Republicans last week admitted repealing the law would be tricky. Some 20 million Americans have signed up for coverage in recent years, and lawmakers will need to make sure they don’t strip them of their insurance in the transition to a new program.

One solution would be to vote immediately to repeal the law but then delay its implementation for several years, a proposal that leaves insurance companies wondering what to do about rates. America’s Health Insurance Plans has been trying to get lawmakers to clarify what they intend to do, spokeswoman Kristine Grow told Reuters.

The American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals have warned Trump and congressional leaders repealing the ACA could prove financially disastrous to medical facilities and likely would cost $165.8 billion over five years.

“Losses of this magnitude cannot be sustained and will adversely impact patients’ access to care, decimate hospitals’ and health systems’ ability to provide services, weaken local economies that hospitals help sustain and grow, and result in massive job losses,” the hospital associations said in a letter signed by AHA President and CEO Richard J. Pollack and FHA President and CEO Charles N. Kahn.

Repealing the ACA could mean a massive tax cut for the wealthy since the bill imposed two big tax increases on those making in excess of $250,000 annually to help pay for the program. The Tax Policy Center estimated repealing the ACA could amount to $154,000 in annual savings for the top 0.1 percent of taxpayers.