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NBC Poll: More Americans Oppose Obamacare, See Rising Costs

Image: NBC Poll: More Americans Oppose Obamacare, See Rising Costs

By Sandy Fitzgerald   |   Monday, 16 Sep 2013 11:53 AM

Most Americans don't understand Obamacare, and even people who don't have insurance believe the law won't do them much good, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll taken as the law's core provisions are about to roll out shows.

Overall, 70 percent of respondents said they either don't understand Obamacare or understand only parts of it, The Wall Street Journal reports.

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Of those polled, 44 percent, think the healthcare overhaul is a bad idea, while 31 percent think the plan is good and 25 percent say they're not sure.

"The coming six months or so is going to say a lot about whether this law comes forward or collapses under its own weight. The administration has a pretty heavy lift," said Levi Russell, a spokesman for the conservative Americans for Prosperity. "Clearly people are skeptical, and rightly so, and that's a good thing."

The uncertainty about the Affordable Care Act is building as next year's mid-term elections grow closer, resulting in groups like Russell's beginning television ads criticizing it, and Organizing for Action, which spun off from President Barack Obama's reelection campaign, running ads in favor of it.

The WSJ/NBC poll comes on the heels of a CNN Poll last week that shows more than half of all Americans oppose Obamacare.

Senior White House official Tara McGuinness blamed much of the confusion on Obamacare opponents, saying there have been efforts underway to undermine education efforts. However, the outreach is mainly being done by community and volunteer groups, as there are limited federal funds to publicize the law.

"From staff in community health centers, to public service announcements and outreach efforts, the six months from October to March will be key to raising awareness about the new marketplaces and the benefits of the law for Americans," McGuinness said.

States will open their health-insurance exchanges on Oct. 1, and plans sold through the exchanges will take effect on Jan. 1, when most Americans are required to either have coverage or face penalties.

However, there is worry that not enough healthy young people will sign up for insurance, and their payments are needed to finance the exchanges.

Most of the uninsured — 76 percent — said in the Journal poll that they don't understand the law and how it affects them, and only 32 percent said they are likely to use the exchanges. In addition, only 23 percent of people getting insurance on the individual market believe they'll use the state exchanges.

In addition, people who don't have access to insurance are as skeptical of the law as those directly affected. Thirty-four percent of the uninsured polled think Obamacare will affect their families negatively, and 52 percent said it won't change things for them.

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Also, about one-third of the people already insured through the individual health insurance market believe they'll be worse off through Obamacare, and 43 percent think they won't be impacted either way.

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