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Thursday, June 27, 2013 1:09 PM

22% Think Obamacare Will Make Their Situation Better, 42% Say Worse

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A new Gallup poll shows Americans Wary of Health Law's Impact.

Americans are more negative than positive about the healthcare law's future impact on their family and on the U.S. in general. Forty-two percent say that in the long run, the law will make their family's healthcare situation worse; 22% say it will make it better. And almost half believe the law will make the healthcare situation in the U.S. worse; 34% say it will make it better.

Question: In the long run, how do you think the healthcare law will affect your family's healthcare situation and the healthcare situation in the US? Will it make things better, not make much difference, or will it make things worse?

These data are from a June 20-24 Gallup poll, conducted as the Obama administration and its supporters are trying to raise awareness of the Affordable Care Act. A new nonprofit group, Enroll America, just launched a campaign, "Get Covered America," to help the uninsured in particular learn about the new law and how to sign up for health coverage, which everyone is required to carry starting in 2014.

It is possible that once Americans start to learn more about the law -- and see it in action, with the uninsured able to start shopping for coverage Oct. 1 -- they will change their perspective on its potential impact.

The uninsured are slightly more likely than the insured to think the law will make the healthcare situation for their family and for the U.S. better. But even the uninsured are divided as to whether the law will make their healthcare situation and the country's better or worse.

Majority Disapproves of the Affordable Care Act

Fifty-two percent of Americans say they disapprove of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, while 44% approve. Last fall, 48% said they approved of the law and 45% disapproved. Americans have generally been divided in their views of the law since it was passed in 2010, in response to slightly different question wordings.

The healthcare law itself elicits highly partisan responses, with Republicans nearly unanimously disapproving (89%) and a smaller but still large majority of Democrats (76%) approving. Democrats' and Republicans' views are essentially unchanged from November 2012. It is independents whose views have changed -- they have become more likely to disapprove now. The majority of independents (52%) approved of the law last fall, while now a majority disapprove (53%).

Those without health insurance -- a group that most benefits from the new law -- are slightly more likely to see it as having a positive effect, but even they are not ardent supporters.
If people were more aware of the impact Obamacare had on part-time hours I suspect the poll showing would be much worse. Still, it's significant that independents have changed their minds.

And if premiums soar as expected, even Democrats may wake up.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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