The Affordable Care Act: What now?
AEI Political Report, March 2014

Reuters

Scott Mandell, 53, his wife Julie Davis, 44, and their son Holden, 12, sit at their breakfast table in Studio City, Los Angeles. Davis has every reason to be skeptical of Obamacare: She's a Republican, her father is a physician who is wary of socialized medicine and her insurance was canceled because of new requirements imposed by the healthcare law this year. Her decision to seek coverage under the health care reform was a practical one, made with little political angst but plenty of doubt over whether the program will really benefit her family.

Article Highlights

  • 8 major polls on the Affordable Care Act show that views on the law are more negative than positive.

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  • Views on President Obama’s handling of health care are more negative than positive.

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  • Six in 10 Americans believe that the Affordable Care Act hasn’t made much difference to them and their families.

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The March edition of AEI’s Political Report looks at the latest polls on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which President Obama signed into law four years ago this month. Is the law popular, and how do Americans feel Obama is handling the health care issue? 

Foreign policy has also garnered much discussion recently. Russia’s sending troops into the Crimean peninsula has captured Americans’ attention of late, and Political Report has the latest data on Americans’ views on Russian actions and possible responses. Some highlights from this issue: 

Eight major polls on the Affordable Care Act show that views on the law are more negative than positive. A March CNN/ORC poll shows that 39 percent of Americans support the law, while 57 percent oppose it. In a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 35 percent say they think the law is a good idea, but 49 percent say it’s a bad one. 

Similarly, views on President Obama’s handling of health care are more negative than positive. The latest ABC News/Washington Post asking of this question shows that 6 in 10 Americans disapprove of Obama’s handling of health care. 

However, despite the negative views of Obama and health care, a new ABC News/Washington Post survey shows 44 percent trust the Democratic Party to do a better job handling health care, while 36 percent trust the Republican Party more.

Six in 10 Americans believe that the Affordable Care Act hasn’t made much difference to them and their families. However, 4 in 10 say that the country is worse off under the law, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll.

About three-quarters of uninsured Americans say that paying for basic medical care is a hardship for them. Only 12 percent say they know “a lot” about the new health insurance marketplace created by the ACA. Clearly, many uninsured Americans lack knowledge of the new health care landscape. 

Only 5 percent of Americans believe Barack Obama is too tough in his approach to foreign policy and national security issues, according to an October–November 2013 Pew Research Center poll. Thirty-seven percent say his approach is about right, and 51 percent say he is not tough enough.

Nearly 9 in 10 Americans say they have seen, read, or heard news coverage about recent developments in Ukraine. More than half of Americans support imposing economic sanctions on Russia, as long as our allies are involved. Only 12 percent of Americans favor sending US ground troops to Ukraine.

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