WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Many Americans do not believe President Barack Obama’s signature health care law is a success.
According to a new CNN/ORC International Poll, only 12 percent of Americans call Obamacare a success, compared to 39 percent that believe it is a failure. Forty-nine percent say it’s too soon to tell.
The poll found that 38 percent want the Affordable Care Act repealed. Only 12 percent want the law to stay as is, while 49 percent would like to see some changes made to Obamacare.
The poll also indicates that 51 percent of Americans believe the current problems facing Obamacare will be solved, while 47 percent do not believe that will happen.
“Your feelings about the law are influenced by your station in life,” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. “There is general support for the law among young people and among people who are approaching retirement age. Support for repeal is higher among people between 35 and 49 years old, and highest among senior citizens, who are roughly split on what Congress should do.”
Strong state-by-state performance indicates that the health care law is making inroads around the country, even as Republicans insist repealing Obamacare will be a winning issue in the fall congressional elections. An Associated Press analysis of the government numbers found that 31 states met or exceeded enrollment targets set by the administration before the insurance exchanges opened. Twenty of those are led by Republican governors, many of whom were hostile to the program.
The Health and Human Services Department said 8 million Americans chose a health plan through the new insurance markets in the first year of the historic health care overhaul. Some 4.8 million more gained coverage through Medicaid and children’s insurance programs. A surge in enrollments since March 1 doubled sign-ups in some states, including Texas, Georgia and Florida.
“There is reason to be optimistic about what the law can deliver, both in terms of coverage and affordable insurance options” said Andy Hyman of the nonpartisan Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “In time, it will become part of the bloodstream of our health care system.” Hyman is a senior program officer working to expand coverage.
Even though the administration is claiming huge successes, the Congressional Budget Office projects more than 40 million people will still be uninsured this year, and a more complete picture of who’s still uninsured won’t emerge until next year with the first results from large national surveys.
“Beyond a doubt, the number of uninsured Americans has fallen by millions. Whether it’s 5 million or 15 million still isn’t clear,” said Larry Levitt, an expert on health insurance markets at the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. “The low enrollment among Latinos is an indication of where challenges still lie: the hard-to-reach groups where more outreach is probably needed.”
Many of the underperforming states were those that had built their own online marketplaces. Massachusetts, which had served as a model for the Obama program, only signed up 31,695 people, far short of the goal of 250,000. Oregon, which met only 29 percent of its goal, recently decided to scrap its online marketplace and go with the federal portal.
The next enrollment period for private health insurance coverage for 2015 under the health law is scheduled to run Nov. 15 through Feb. 15.
“They’ve had some success,” Levitt said, “but they’re going to have to do it all over again next year and get more people signed up to succeed.”
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