ObamaCare Faces Skepticism

September 23, 2013

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that even those lacking health insurance, who are supposed to be the law's biggest beneficiaries, generally believe it wouldn't do them much good, says the Wall Street Journal.

  • Nearly 70 percent of poll respondents said they didn't understand the health care overhaul passed by Democrats in March 2010 or only understood a part of it.
  • Only 31 percent said they thought the overhaul was a good idea.
  • Forty-four percent said it was a bad idea.
  • Twenty-five percent said they didn't have an opinion or weren't sure.

Uncertainty over the law has created a window for political groups on both sides to try to shape opinion in advance of midterm elections next year. Conservative organizations such as Americans for Prosperity have begun television advertisements criticizing the law, while Organizing for Action, the spinoff of President Barack Obama's reelection effort, is running ads in its favor.

New health insurance exchanges where people can shop for individual insurance plans and apply for subsidies toward the cost of premiums will open for enrollment on October 1. Plans sold through the exchanges will take effect January 1, 2014, the same date on which most Americans will have to have coverage or pay a penalty.

Those exchanges are aimed at the portion of the population -- about 46 million Americans -- who don't currently have access to coverage through an employer or government program such as Medicare or Medicaid.

Among the uninsured:

  • Seventy-six percent of respondents said they didn't understand the law and how it would affect them.
  • Only 32 percent of the uninsured thought they were "fairly" or "very" likely to use the exchanges.

The Obama administration has limited funding to promote the law, especially in parts of the country where there is the most hostility to it.

Source: Louise Radnofsky, "Health Law Faces Skepticism," Wall Street Journal, September 16, 2013.

 

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