Poll: More Than Half of Americans Say Under Obamacare U.S. Health Care System “Will Get Worse”

Posted: Dec 02, 2013 11:00 AM

Nearly four years after the Affordable Care Act became “settled" law, the American public is just beginning to see how its implementation will directly impact their lives. How many individuals, families, and/or retirees have lost their health insurance, lost their doctors, or are now (or will become) uninsured because they can’t keep their current plans and the new plans being offered to them via the exchanges are too expensive? It’s impossible to know. But it’s fair to say that millions of Americans (including those who enthusiastically supported the law) are waking up and realizing that their worst nightmare is becoming reality. The administration is happy to tell you that the website is “fixed” as promised, and therefore all will be well. (Curiously, even the New York Times disputes this talking point). But Americans, it seems, are far more concerned with the merits of the legislation than, say, its website’s functionality.

This raises a question: if a growing majority of Americans expect the U.S. healthcare system will only get worse under Obamacare (or won’t get better) what was the point of passing it in the first place? Put another way, more Americans consistently say the law will hurt them rather than help them. That's a stunning statistic, one that this administration (and vulnerable Democrats up for re-election) are going to find harder and harder to ignore:

Though the Obama administration yesterday tried to assure Americans that many of the problems associated with the health care enrollment website were fixed, a majority of voters continue to believe the health care system will get worse under the new law. Voter ratings for the current system also are slightly higher than they’ve been all year.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 56% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the health care system is likely to get worse under the new national health care law. That’s up from 52% in October and is more similar to the level of pessimism measured from May through August. Just half as many (28%) expect the health care system to get better, while nine percent (9%) think it will remain about the same. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

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