Blog PostSeptember 16, 2013

New National Polls on Affordable Care Act

Few Americans Understand, Trust Federal Health Law

With just two weeks to go before the Affordable Care Act’s health care exchanges are set to kick in, both USA TODAY and the Wall Street Journal published polls that asked Americans how much they know about the Affordable Care Act and its impact on their families as well as the country. 

The USA TODAY/Pew Research Center poll found that three years after the law was passed, the “confusion and misinformation” about the law remain as strong as ever:

“As the health care exchanges at the heart of the law open for enrollment in two weeks, the public’s views of it are as negative as they have ever been, and disapproval of the president’s handling of health care has hit a new high. Confusion and misinformation about the law haven’t significantly abated, especially among the law’s main targets.”

USA TODAY reported as well that nearly four in 10 of those polled who are uninsured don’t realize they are required to get health insurance next year. And just 56 percent of young people realize that if they do not get health insurance, they’ll get fined.

The poll also found that a majority of Americans think the law will have a negative impact on their families and country in coming years.

Americans responding to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll had an equally dismal outlook on the ACA, finding that among the uninsured don’t think the law will help them much:

“Among the uninsured, 76% of respondents said they didn’t understand the law and how it would affect them. Only 32% of the uninsured thought they were ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ likely to use the exchanges. That proportion was even lower among the people who are currently getting insurance on the individual market. Of those, 23% believed they would use the exchanges.”

The one area neither poll included in their survey questions was job creation. And that is unfortunate because bad government policy hurts good people in the workplace as well as in the home. 

As Job Creators Alliance member Richard Jackson said in his recent op-ed, The Audacity of Obamacare, “This country is being forced to dramatically change what it means to be an employer and employee because of a poorly conceived and hastily passed law. The ACA must be replaced with real reform that empowers patients and does not harm workers and job creators.”