Polls: Americans Unprepared for Obamacare Launch Tuesday

Monday, 30 Sep 2013 12:38 PM

By Andrea Billups

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New polling suggests Americans are not ready to embrace Obamacare on Tuesday when the contentious healthcare law begins enrollment, but they aren't willing to endure a temporary government shutdown to resolve the matter.

A Kaiser Family Foundation/NBC survey
shows that Americans are still confused how the new law will work or if they can even afford it.

The results show that nearly three-fourths of those questioned are worried they will have to pay more for health insurance and that they won't be able to afford it.

Additionally, a new poll by Gallup says that one-quarter of Americans they questioned are more likely to pay the fine for not being able to purchase the new insurance advertised by Democrats as more affordable.

"I'm really confused, but one thing I know is I can't afford it," said Earle Griffis, a 46-year-old commercial fisherman from Milton, Fla., who participated in the Kaiser poll.

"I can't pay that," Griffis said. "I guess they'll have to haul me to jail."

A third survey, the Morning Consult National Healthcare Tracking Poll shows that voters remain skeptical of Obamacare with one-in-three of those questioned saying that Congress should delay or repeal the president's signature healthcare law.

Additionally, 29 percent believe that Congress needs to take action to improve the law, while 26 percent want the law to take effect as written.

A small number, 12 percent, want the healthcare law to be expanded even further.

However, if, as now seems likely, a legislative logjam over funding the new program forces a government shutdown, 51 percent said they would blame Republicans, while 41 percent said President Barack Obama would be at fault, and 36 percent blamed congressional Democrats.

A temporary government shutdown may also affect how voters cast their ballots during the next election. Forty-two percent said they are less likely to support a lawmaker whose actions lead to a shutdown, while 30 percent said they would continue to support that candidate and 28 percent said it would not affect their vote.

The Morning Consult poll was conducted last week with more than 1,900 registered voters and has a two percent margin of error.

The Kaiser Foundation/NBC poll was conducted Sept. 12-18 with 1,500 respondents and has a three percent margin of error.

The Gallup poll sampled more than 5,000 Americans Sept. 17 through 26 and has a five percent margin of error.

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