Short Takes On News & Events

Most Americans Say The Health Law Has Not Affected Their Families: Poll

By Mary Agnes Carey

May 30th, 2014, 6:48 AM

More than four years after enactment of the health law, six in 10 Americans say neither they nor their families have been affected by the sweeping measure, according to a poll released Friday.

Among those who say the law has impacted them, Republicans are much more likely to say their families have been hurt by the law (37 percent) than helped (5 percent), while Democrats are more likely to say their families have been helped (26 percent) than hurt (8 percent), according to The Kaiser Family Foundation’s monthly tracking poll. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation).

The relationship between partisanship and reported impact of the law holds when controlling for other factors such as income, race/ethnicity and insurance status, the poll found.

Among those who say the law has helped them, the most common response is it allowed someone in their family to get or keep coverage. Among those who say the law has hurt them, the most common response is that their health care costs have increased.

About 3 in 10 Americans say they know someone who was able to get health insurance because of the health law, while 23 percent reported they knew someone who lost their job and 19 percent knew someone who had work hours cut due to the law.  Those saying they know someone who gained coverage are more likely to be Democrats (46 percent versus 19 percent). Republicans reported  knowing someone who lost coverage or had a job-related impact more often than Democrats (34 percent versus 15 percent).

As campaigns heat up for the November midterm elections, the poll also took a look at voters’ attitudes about the law. Fifty-one percent of registered voters are tired of hearing candidates talk about the health law and would rather focus on other issues, such as jobs, while 43 percent say it is important for candidates to continue to debate the law. Overall a majority of registered voters (52 percent) say they will consider a candidate’s position on the health law as one of many important factors in their vote. About three in 10 voters say it would be the deciding factor for their vote.

The public’s overall view of the law is unchanged compared to previous KFF surveys, with 38 percent of those surveyed holding a favorable view and 45 percent an unfavorable one. As in previous tracking polls, a majority of the public overall -– 59 percent –- including majorities of Democrats and independents, say they want their congressional representative to improve the law rather than repeal it and replace it.

The poll was conducted among 1,505 adults, including 1,279 registered voters. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points for both groups.

3 Responses to “Most Americans Say The Health Law Has Not Affected Their Families: Poll”

  1. limapie says:

    This poll shows that the news media—you—are not doing a good job. The health law HAS effected EVERYONE! The adverse effect is horrendous to freedom loving Americans.
    Part of the problem with the realization of this fact is that the media isn’t telling the whole story half the time.
    Take this story….you, the media, are leading the reader to believe that it is only a partisan issue, when it is an AMERICAN issue.

    Wait until the REAL crap hits the fan when ALL the provisions in the ACA are enacted! How are the employees at Kaiser going to like to pay that Cadillac tax? How are people who’ve worked their whole live, saving and denying themselves vacations and luxuries, just so they can afford medical expenses in old age….how are they going to like it that their savings will not buy them one bit of medical care because they were denied treatments from the CMS!?!?! Did you not know this? Warren Buffet won’t be able to purchase a kidney transplant with all his wealth—-if the SYSTEM says he is too old and not worthy of the operation! He won’t be able to find one facility that will deal with him if he’s denied! AND YOU CALL THAT FREEDOM!!!!
    Wait until those state taxes hit the moon after the feds stop borrowing money from China! Wait until people actually start trying to get these insurance companies to pay for something!

    This whole thing is an absolute sham! You just keep making people believe that the American system that we’ve had all this time is not OVER now. You just keep doing it and fooling people that work does not pay now.

  2. Limapie is right. The media is not telling the full and correct story about the effects of the healthcare law. It is just incredible that our Congress passed a law that is so complex and convoluted NO ONE knows exactly what it says. The penalties on the companies and the individuals who do not comply with the law are just completely out of line and apparently are unconstitutional as well.

    I am of that age where the healthcare law says I cannot have a kidney transplant if needed, or several other life-saving medical procedures. While I don’t care if they allow it or not, I do care that the government is being allowed to make decisions that should only be made by medical professionals and the patient.

    The government has become entirely too intrusive into all kinds of personal life matters, such as education, religion, social and family issues.

    Media, do your work. Ferret out the full facts and report them accurately without bias or personal opinions concerning the political leanings of this person or that person.

    Congress, fulfill the role you were elected to do. Read the laws and pass them only if they are necessary for the good of the people, only if they are Constitutional, and only if they involve matters that the people cannot handle for themselves.

  3. CoolinB says:

    Yes, you MEDIA people should not be reporting what people think, or what they or their families have personally experienced with Obamacare. You should just report story lines that conform to TEA Party attacks on the legislation. You’re not doing your job unless you join the fight to repeal the entire law.

    For once, show that you can really be unbiased.