The downward spiral of public opinion surrounding the Patient Protection and Affordable Car Act continues since its July peak, just as midterm elections creep closer.
The latest Health Tracking Poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds many more people pessimistic about the law, with 47 percent viewing it unfavorably vs. 35 percent supporting it. Among likely voters, targeted specifically by this poll, that gap grows to 52 percent vs. 35 percent.
While those results might hearten the hopes of Republicans plotting a midterm insurgence two months from now, respondents overwhelming support repair over repeal, by a 63 percent to 33 percent margin.
public opinion on ppaca, sept 2014
Beyond the expected stark partisan division, it’s worth noting that despite the fact that most people haven’t been personally touched by the law – 57 percent – those who have tend to report a negative experience. Nearly twice as many claim to have been hurt by the law – 27 percent – rather than helped – 14 percent.
Despite the resurgent animosity toward PPACA, Kaiser pollsters found health care ranked behind both the economy and jobs as far as critical election issues.
“Two months out from Election Day, Republicans have a modest edge among the most enthusiastic voters,” the study’s authors wrote. “However, it does not appear that opposition to [PPACA] is a big driver of that enthusiasm, as these voters are no more likely than others to mention health care as an important factor in their vote.”
Brian Robertson, executive vice president, Fringe Benefit Group, says it’s only going to get worse.
“Expect that gap to continue to separate as implementation kicks in and broader groups of people are impacted,” Robertson predicts. “We have still done nothing to impact cost of care.”
But he insists its not the end of the world, either.
“We are in a unprecedented time in employee benefits,” Robertson says. “Uncertainty is paramount which means opportunity is paramount. The problem is that it is all uncomfortable.”