Poll: Health reform not more popular, but fewer think they’ll be worse off
In a new poll today, the Associated Press finds that fewer Americans believe their health care will actually get worse under the Affordable Care Act.
The Associated Press asked “As a result of the changes to health care that were passed by Congress in March of 2010, do you think it will probably cause you to get better health care, cause you to get worse health care, or not change the quality of health care you get?”
Thirty-two percent of respondents expected to be worse off, a significant number, but also a big drop from the 47 percent who felt that way in April 2010. Nearly all the drop-off was among those who thought their care would get “a lot worse:” Their ranks fell from 38 to 12 percent of respondents. The number of respondents who thought their care would get better under the Affordable Care Act held steady at 14 percent.
Does this mean the health reform law is on its way to winning hearts and minds? Not necessarily. The Associated Press finds that the country is just as divided on the health overhaul as it was right after it passed, with 35 percent supporting it and 47 percent opposing. Last April, 39 percent supported the law and 50 percent opposed it.
Instead, the change probably has to do with the slow rollout of health reform. The law has barely come online yet. Aside from a few early-to-implement provisions that rolled out in 2010, the big parts of the law — the health coverage expansion, the individual mandate and end of pre-existing conditions — don’t start until 2014. For opponents of the law, there’s not a lot of change — positive or negative — to point to as evidence that the quality of U.S. health care is declining.