CNN Poll: Will Obamacare help you?
October 1st, 2013
06:00 AM ET
12 months ago

CNN Poll: Will Obamacare help you?

Less than one in five Americans say their families will be better off under the new health care law, according to a new poll.

But a CNN/ORC International survey released Tuesday morning also indicates a majority say the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, will help some people, with 37% saying the law, which is gradually starting to kick in, won't help anyone.

According to the poll, four in 10 say the new law will make their families worse off, while 41% believe it will have no effect.

Seventeen percent think the measure will be a good thing for themselves or their families.

The poll's release comes on the same day as a key element of the health care law takes effect, as Americans without insurance can begin enrolling in state insurance exchanges.

And it comes hours after the shutdown of the federal government courtesy of a bitter partisan battle over the new health care law.

According to the poll, 36% say they won't benefit from the new law but other families will. If you add to that the 17% who believe Obamacare will help them personally, the survey indicates that most Americans see some good coming from it. Some 37% say no one in the country will benefit from the measure.

As the exchanges open for business, 52% say the health insurance system created by Obamacare is a disaster waiting to happen, with 45% saying the system will eventually work.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International September 27-29, with 803 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

With most components of the health care law not taking effect until 2014, many Americans still don't have a full grasp of Obamacare, and a couple of surveys from other organizations conducted in September indicated that only a minority said they knew a lot about the law.

– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story.


Filed under: CNN/ORC poll • Congress • Government Shutdown • Polls
soundoff (408 Responses)
  1. AP

    Yes, this would help many people, once you see how much doctors bill insurance companies for a simple procedure you realize how much money they are making, if you have a pre-existing condition you shouldn't have to take food from your children's mouths to afford medical care, this is not the way, universal health care is.

    October 1, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  2. CMS

    Reading through some of these comments, people don't understand any of the information that has come out about the ACA.

    If you already have insurance, you don't need to do anything, keep your existing insurance. The ACA is allowing people that have been being turned down for insurance, a way to finally be able to get insurance and not be way over charged because they have a pre-existing condition.

    And the rates are based on family size and income, so the rates for someone with lower income will be cheaper. I don't understand why people are so upset about this. Companies have been doing this with insurance premiums on a sliding scale for years, or at least the companies I have worked for have calculated insurance premiums in this manner.

    October 1, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  3. Malory Archer

    SarahD

    You can't simply look at Obamacare alone. It is a JOBS Killer! And that will help none...

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    Yeah, except a lot of Americans who were previously "trapped" in jobs they hated are now free to pursue the job they really want or start their own businesses, knowing they'll be able to purchase insurance without sacrificing such luxuries as eating and living indoors – unless of course they live in a red state where they're undermined by their elected officials. My suggestion to them is move.

    October 1, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  4. jay

    If the government is going to shut down we should do it right and git rid of all of them if they cant look past there wallets I will never complie to any law Obama bases

    October 1, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  5. ginger puff

    Obamacare is another "freebie" for those who do not want to work. First we gave the homeless large houses with no down payments, then we bailed out the banks who gave loans to bums. This was followed by a change in accounting rules that allow the big banks to keep their milions of foreclosed houses of market in an attempt to raise house selling prices. The only thing left is for Obama to give his banker buddies a credit to tear down those foreclosed houses to keep prices high. Obamabots have already tried this in Detroit and Phoenix. Now he tries Obamacare. It will FAIL just like his other ideas. I guess its time fore the Obamas and their strongest supporters to go another vacation!

    October 1, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  6. Carol

    ACA will not help me at all. I am a single mother of two teenagers, barely meeting my bills, and can't afford health care before, or I would have had it. What makes Mr. President think that now because he says its a law, I now can afford it. I make just enough money to not be eligible for any kind of government help, but not enough to have the luxury of health care. Making me have to buy health care will put me under. If cannot afford $10 extra a month, I certainly can't afford $300. This is a disaster, plain and simple. Not to mention this furlough that hard working people must take now because the "children" can't play nice. Why is it that we must take the hit but THEY DO NOT LOSE THEIR PAY OR AFFECT THEM IN ANY WAY???!! What's fair is fair, and they are breaking the rules on so many levels. It makes me sick.

    October 1, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  7. wttexas

    send all the politicians home,,,,they may do less damage...

    October 1, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  8. Malory Archer

    Tigerflower

    Mallory until you hit the deductible you're paying CASH. Up front. And it absolutely depends on what you're having done. My last cancer checkup included a cat scan and blood work. The point being that if you can't write a check for all this under the new law it's not going to happen until you have the cash in the bank to pay out of pocket. I think the going rate for just a bare bones 15 min check up around here is $150. If you're living on minimum wage how affordable is that? And that doesn't include medicine, tests or treatment, just a little chat with the doc. Universal care is a great idea. We really need it. This plan isn't affordable for many of the ones it was really intended to help.

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    I totally agree with you on universal healthcare. As for cancer checkups, someone without medical coverage was SOL prior to today as they would have been denied treatment they were unable to pay for, so your point is entirely moot. Additionally, once you were treated for cancer, your insurance company could have dumped you in the middle of treatment prior to today. Low income Americans will receive subsidies, so again, moot point. In fact, your entire post of 10:12 is nothing more than a bunch of strawmen, which I have successfully knocked down.

    October 1, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  9. tom

    17% say they will benefit and 37% say someone will benefit. These two numbers are added and the author forms the conclusion that the majority see some benefit. That is absurd logic. Obamacare could benefit only one person and if everyone realized this than 100% would say that someone will benefit.

    October 1, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  10. Malory Archer

    Carol

    ACA will not help me at all. I am a single mother of two teenagers, barely meeting my bills, and can't afford health care before, or I would have had it. What makes Mr. President think that now because he says its a law, I now can afford it. I make just enough money to not be eligible for any kind of government help, but not enough to have the luxury of health care. Making me have to buy health care will put me under. If cannot afford $10 extra a month, I certainly can't afford $300. This is a disaster, plain and simple. Not to mention this furlough that hard working people must take now because the "children" can't play nice. Why is it that we must take the hit but THEY DO NOT LOSE THEIR PAY OR AFFECT THEM IN ANY WAY???!! What's fair is fair, and they are breaking the rules on so many levels. It makes me sick.

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    What did you do prior to today when your kids got sick or injured?

    October 1, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  11. Debby

    Dear Paul, Seriously, after reading this article, you expect me to believe ACA is anything but a farce? I may not be a rocket scientist, but I can figure out this benefits VERY few people and in the long run, may be the financial death of America. How about some realistic editorials?

    October 1, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  12. Rod

    I'm so sick of deadbeat Republican's refusing to take responsibility for their own health care and refusing to take out health insurance. They continue to game the system and wait until they need emergency care and then show up at the emergency room without insurance and then their costs get passed on to people like me that act responsibly and pay to carry insurance. Sure those people will say they'll be worse off. They love that I have to work to pay for their medical costs. But I'll be better off if I don't have to pay for their medical costs.

    October 1, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  13. Mark

    If Obamacare is so great, as we are being told! How came congress, senators, president etc. passed a law exempting them from Obamacare!

    October 1, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  14. budgiegirl

    Considering that 80% of Americans already have health insurance, i'd say that a poll stating 1 in 5 families would be helped, is about right.

    October 1, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  15. Joseph

    If Obamacare is so great, as we are being told! How came congress, senators, president etc. passed a law exempting them from Obamacare!

    October 1, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  16. chester

    Here is what folks don't understand. At some point in your lives you will need health care. Think of it as paying taxes so that your streets are safe, if your house happens to burn down or garbage pick up etc. Now you can go to the doctor and not have to wait for something terrible to happen or have to worry about your moneys being wiped out. This is a win for America.
    Most folks cannot afford health care now and its not a freebie if everyone pays into it then everyone benefits. Stop being selfish. You are the person when something happens and turns to the government like help me help me..ie like when hurricane sandy hit Jersey Shore.. those folks were like the Govt is our friend help us help us while before they were playing the other side of the fence. You cannot have it both ways

    October 1, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  17. Luisa

    "American's who needed help always had the Oppurtunity to walk into a hospital and get treated as a 'cash customer' and get billed for it later. They would always get the help they needed even without insurance, I know I work in an E.R. We treat everyone no matter what..."
    And that was a big part of the problem, treating everyone in ER even uninsured people that cannot afford preventive care. Best recipe to increase health costs and premiums. ACA will address this in a very effective way. We are already seeing the effects on insured all kids through their parents plan and with preexisting conditions. The more insured people we have the better off we'll be.

    October 1, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  18. concerned party

    I am upset that our freedoms are being taken away a little at a time. I don't like the idea that Obama has to FORCE people to get health insurance so he can say that he was telling the truth when he said that everyone will have insurance before he leaves office.

    October 1, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  19. J in NJ

    @GOP I call BS on your comment. This very site explained a few days ago that the minimum out of pocket per person under any plan on the national exchange would be a little over $6300.00 with no subsidy, the only subsidy would be monthly premium support.

    October 1, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  20. Pinewalker

    Just went onto our state's exhcnage $1749 a month for family fo 4 non-smokers. Interestingly it indicates doctors near you who will accept this plan within 10 miles of my zip code: 0 within 25 miles of my zip code: 0 within 50 miles of my zip code: 0 wonder just where I would be able to use this $1749 a month paper weight??

    October 1, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  21. jay

    The government is not worth saving its a lost cause the country lost its true founder God something are dead beat president knows nothing about

    October 1, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  22. Tom

    The ones applauding Obabacare are the ones that will benefit from it at the expense of those who already have health care

    October 1, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  23. Malory Archer

    Pinewalker

    Just went onto our state's exhcnage $1749 a month for family fo 4 non-smokers. Interestingly it indicates doctors near you who will accept this plan within 10 miles of my zip code: 0 within 25 miles of my zip code: 0 within 50 miles of my zip code: 0 wonder just where I would be able to use this $1749 a month paper weight??

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    In what state do you live?

    October 1, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  24. Mike

    I don't see an argument that people with poor health conditions will not benefit from this. The bigger issue is a large group of people with NO health conditions are being punished by it. My premium for my wife is increasing 125%. That isn't a huge deal to the bulk of you who are living on the governments money already, but that hurts for a family of four with one income. I do not even know what my premium at work for my kids will increase by. If the government wants to subsidize health care for the sick / poor / elderly then go for it, but mandating that citizens have to purchase a product is just not right. All we've accomplished today is ensuring that alot of hard working middle class people will have a good time figuring out how they are going to pay for additional premiums for benefits they either did not need or ask for. Well that and alot of 20 year old college guys will now be covered with maternity and mental health insurance. Thanks Washington.

    October 1, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  25. trueblue

    I have been in the Health care business for years, I have witness a lot of fraud for the same people that's fighting this bill and the government. Who do think benefits if they block or delay Obama-care the rich CEO's the Insurance giants and the Retards. WAKE-UP citizens.

    October 1, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
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