42% Of Americans Don’t Know Obamacare Is Law

A new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation comes back with the somewhat shocking result that nearly half of Americans don’t know that the Affordable Care Act is law:

A new poll finds that many Americans are confused about the health care overhaul legislation commonly called “Obamacare.”

The Kaiser Family Foundation released results of a non-partisan study today finding more than 40 percent did not even know the law was in place.

“Four in ten Americans (42%) are unaware that the ACA [Affordable Care Act] is still the law of the land,” the report says, “including 12 percent who believe the law has been repealed by Congress, 7 percent who believe it has been overturned by the Supreme Court and 23 percent who say they don’t know enough to say what the status of the law is.”

The survey showed public opinion on Obamacare is at its second-lowest rating in the past two years.

Less than half – 40 percent – of adults viewed the ACA favorably, whereas 35 percent said they viewed it unfavorably. Another 24 percent said they did not know or refused to answer.

The first question that came to mind for me was exactly how the question was phrased, so I went to the poll itself and found this:

  • The question reads “As youmay know, a health care bill was signed into law in March 2010. As far as you know, which comes closes to describing the current status of the health care law?
  • 59% stated correctly that the law was in effect and in the process of being implemented;
  • 42% fell into the category of those who were unaware the law was in effect;
  • Of that 42%, 7% responded that they believed that the law had been repealed by the Supreme Court, 12% responded that they believed that they law had been repealed by Congress, and 23% either said they didn’t know or refused to respond;
  • Among respondents 18-29, 51% were unaware that the PPACA was the law, and among those reporting an annual income under $30,000 a full 59% were unaware that it was law.

It’s hard to ascribe a reason for this other than the fact that the Administration has done a horrible job of rolling out implementation of the law itself, which should make for some interesting times once the exchanges open up for enrollment starting on October 1st.

FILED UNDER: Health Care, Public Opinion Polls, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed for too young in July 2021.

Comments

  1. stonetools says:

    From the beginning of the campaign for univeral health care, the Obama Administration’s messaging has been, and remains, awful. Come to think of it, his messaging is awful for his domestic policy, period.

  2. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    It’s hard to ascribe a reason for this other than the fact that the Administration has done a horrible job of rolling out implementation of the law itself, which should make for some interesting times once the exchanges open up for enrollment starting on October 1st.

    I feel I have to rise in defense of the Obama administration.

    ObamaCare is such a turd sandwich, there really is no way it could be rolled out successfully.

  3. gVOR08 says:

    It’s obvious Obamacare hasn’t been implemented. Republicans told us the world would end if Obamacare was implemented. The world hasn’t ended. Ergo…

  4. Americans are stupid. Details on the 11 o’clock news.

  5. It’s hard to ascribe a reason for this other than the fact that the Administration has done a horrible job of rolling out implementation of the law itself

    Hmmmm…..is it the horrible roll-out or the horrible disinfo campaign?

    Would the roll-out have been less horrible if we had less disinformation? I guess we’ll never know.

  6. Dave Schuler says:

    Doug, you’re assuming that the exchanges will be opened for enrollment on time. I think there are pretty good odds that the Administration will request a delay.

  7. James Joyner says:

    It’s actually a bizarre question. It could be simplified as, “As you know, Obamacare was signed into law. Is Obamacare the law?”

  8. Ben says:

    Less than half – 40 percent – of adults viewed the ACA favorably, whereas 35 percent said they viewed it unfavorably. Another 24 percent said they did not know or refused to answer.

    And yet, when the individual things that the ACA does are described to people, they all receive wide majority support, except for the mandate, which, ya know, PAYS for it.

  9. Tyrell says:

    Where do we sign up? Can I get dental coverage? If this plan covers such trash as viagra, then it should cover braces and other dental work. How about laser eye surgery ?
    The only information that I have seen is the hot bestseller “How To Survive Obama Care!” which is being even sold at some of the local convenience stores next to the newspapers. The churches around here are even giving it out!! We have not received anything from the government about it at all. The least they can do is mail out some sort of booklet and forms! But no, they are too busy with sending out junky income tax forms so that they can steal the working peoples’ money and give it away!!