Kaiser Poll: Half of Country Still Has Negative View of Obamacare

Friday, 31 Jan 2014 11:16 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Almost half of Americans have an unfavorable view of Obamacare, according to a new poll, but an even higher percentage believe that opponents of the new healthcare law should work to improve it rather than repeal it.

According to a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted Jan. 14-21, 50 percent of the 1,506 adults surveyed have an unfavorable view of Obamacare, compared to 34 percent who have a favorable view.

At the same time, 55 percent of those surveyed — including three in 10 of those who view the law unfavorably — say opponents should accept the law and work on fixing it. Fewer than four in 10 want opponents to keep up the repeal fight.

Among the survey respondents were 173 who identified themselves as presently uninsured, the main group the healthcare law is supposed to help the most. The poll found that 47 percent of the uninsured respondents had a negative view of the law, even though half of them said they were unfamiliar with the law's mandate provision and the exchanges set up to help the uninsured find coverage.

Still, the survey revealed that the percentage of those uninsured with a favorable view of the law has decreased significantly since a December Kaiser poll, when 36 percent of uninsured respondents had a positive view compared to 43 percent who had a negative view.

Just 24 percent of the uninsured respondents now have a favorable view.

"Among the uninsured — a key group for outreach under the law — unfavorable views now outnumber favorable views by roughly a 2-to-1 margin," the Kaiser survey report noted.

The poll also shows that more of those without coverage say the law has made the uninsured, as a group, worse off than better off by a margin of 39 percent to 26 percent.

"Despite these views, large shares of the uninsured see health insurance as 'very important' and say they need it, while four in 10 say they've tried to get coverage in the past six months, and half expect to get it this year," the report said.

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