Kaiser poll: Uninsured less thrilled with Obamacare than they were before it became law

Katie LaPotin, Red Alert PoliticsJanuary 30, 2014

Despite the fact that President Barack Obama pitched the Affordable Care Act as a way to help America’s uninsured, the law couldn’t be any less popular among those who need it the most.

A new study released by The Henry J. Kaiser Foundation Thursday found that just 24 percent of uninsured Americans today have a favorable impression of the newly implemented law, with a record-high 47 percent with an unfavorable opinion and 28 percent undecided.

This is a notable difference from last month’s study, in which 36 percent of uninsured Americans reported having a favorable opinion of the law, and the lowest it’s been since Kaiser started testing it in April 2010.

January’s findings also mark the first time Kaiser conducted the study after the law officially went into effect on New Year’s Day. In recent months, the law’s popularity among the uninsured has plummeted – likely a result of the frustration they were receiving with the healthcare exchange website glitches.

In addition, 30 percent of uninsured Americans believe that the law has made them worse off than before its implementation – compared to just 13 percent who believe they are now better off because of the healthcare law.

The law’s favorability among Americans in general isn’t much better, with 50 percent of Americans having an unfavorable opinion of the law and 34 percent of them opposing it. Yet just 38 percent of Americans want the law to be repealed in full, with the majority – 55 percent – of adults instead preferring to revise the law as it stands.

The study also reported that while a majority of Americans hadn’t been affected by the law thus far, 27 percent of respondents had a negative experience and just 15 percent a positive one. Those with negative views mostly chalked them up to the high costs of healthcare and insurance.

Support for President Obama’s signature legislative act has dropped rapidly over the past few months, with Real Clear Politics’ aggregate average of the law’s approval at a mere 38 percent. According to a Gallup study released Thursday, 38 percent of uninsured Americans would rather pay the fine for opting out of enrolling in the costly healthcare exchanges than signing up.

The Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a nationwide telephone study of 1,506 adults from January 14-21, 2014. The margin of error for the study is -/+ 3 percentage points. 

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