July 23rd, 2014
06:00 AM ET
2 months ago

CNN Poll: Is Obamacare working?

Washington (CNN) – More than half the public says Obamacare has helped either their families or others across the country, although less than one in five Americans say they have personally benefited from the health care law, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/ORC International survey also indicates that a majority of Americans oppose the Affordable Care Act, but that some of that opposition is from people who don't think the measure goes far enough.

The poll, conducted this past weekend, was released on Wednesday, one day after a federal appeals court upheld Obamacare tax subsidies. That ruling came just a couple of hours after a separate appeals court struck down such subsidies for the millions of Americans enrolled in the federal government's HealthCare.gov exchange.

Appeals courts differ on Obamacare; Supreme Court case likely

According to the poll, only 18% of the public say they or their families are better off now that the major provisions of the health care law have been implemented. Another 35% report that, while their lives have not improved, the Affordable Care Act has benefited other people in the U.S. Add those two numbers together, and that means 53% say that Obamacare has helped either their families or others across the country.

Forty-four percent tell us that the health care law has not helped anyone in the country.

xxxx poll

According to the poll, 40% of Americans say they support the health care law, basically unchanged from March but up from 35% in December, which was a record low in CNN polling. Fifty-nine percent of those questioned say they oppose the measure, down five points from December.

"Not all of the opposition to the health care law comes from the right," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Thirty-eight percent say they oppose the law because it's too liberal, but 17% say they oppose it because it's not liberal enough. That means more than half the public either favors Obamacare, or opposes it because it doesn't go far enough."

As expected, the poll indicates a continued wide partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans over the law and whether it’s working.

Political battle over Obamacare

The measure was passed into law in 2010, when the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. The law, considered President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement, was a major issue in 2010 and 2012, and is again in 2014, as many Republicans continue to call for Obamacare to be repealed and replaced.

While the Obamacare website suffered a disastrous rollout last autumn, things have improved. Major flaws with HealthCare.gov were addressed and major gains in enrollment were made.

But Republicans continue to keep their midterm campaign focus on the health care law. Earlier this month House Speaker John Boehner made Obamacare the focus of his lawsuit against the President.

Republicans to sue Obama over health law

The GOP obsession with the health care law may be smart politics: Midterm electorates are smaller than those of presidential elections, and the contests are often all about getting out base voters–and the GOP base continues to hate Obamacare.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from July 18-20, with 1,012 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. just asking

    JD

    The Affordable Care Act (Law) never had a chance from the beginning. The republicans hated the president and childishly wasted taxpayer money fighting and diluting it until it became a ghost of what it could have been. The American people wanted a change to the way healthcare worked and they got it. Thank you Mr. President for trying to change it.
    --–

    shouldn't that last sentence say:

    Thank you Mr. President for lieing to change it.

    July 23, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  2. Bill from GA

    Tampa Tim – " ACA has not helped the red state voters, because their governors refused to set up exchanges and accept Medicaid expansion money. "

    Even in Georgia, close to 200 thousand enrolled thru the Federal Exchange. Another large group got Medicaid because ACA found that they were eligible for it under current standards, even though the state is really slow to get them signed up.

    And I am sure many of those benifiting are Republicans. Their just not as loud as the teabaggers.

    July 23, 2014 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  3. sonny chapman

    The Kaiser Group once estimated that 45,000 Americans were dying annually from lack of Health Insurance. Anyone know what's the most current numbers ?

    July 23, 2014 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  4. Longtimer

    njudgemental

    The article is very misleading; it does not address the number of people who feel they were harmed by Obamacare or feels that they will be getting less insurance or paying more. Also the author uses inappropriate math to add people who think they were helped plus people who see others helped together to get to a number over 50%. Other polls say that more than 50% people feel that they are getting less care/paying more or harmed after Obamacare introduction. One can only hope that the supreme court will send the law back to congress to be revised.
    ____________________
    People can feel whatever they like- but without facts what people feel is meaningless- this has to be based on people who had to engage the ACA- not the screaming kooks on the Right who have made all sorts of absurd claims about Socialism, Communism, etc. The ACA is essentially a Republican plan in as much as it is a ditto of Mr. Romney's Massachusetts law. It would be nice if the Right dealt with the reality of the law, and not how it makes them feel.

    July 23, 2014 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  5. Tommy G

    The Real Tom Paine

    Tommy G
    Obamacare is not and has not been implemented as the law required. The disaster of Obamacare was STOPPED by Obama with numerous delays and changes, unlawful delays and changes. To ask right now is deceitful because the worse parts of it are yet to come. Obama delayed them so the Democrats wouldn't get totally slaughtered this November. But you can be sure, the disaster called Obamacare is by no means over.
    *******************
    |Do you just repeat these over and over, or are these statements just uploaded directly into your cortex every morning?
    --–

    Do you have anything worthwhile to add to the discussion or to refute what I have said? Or are your useless personal insults all you got left when it comes to defending Obamacare? Sure looks like it!

    July 23, 2014 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  6. LogicalSC

    It is well past time for you dishonest progressive shrills to stop shoveling steaming piles of Obama for this clusterfreak.

    When you can find the original, dishonest, phony 44 MILLION supposedly uninsured Americans who were clamoring for Obama's EBT healthcare, get back to us... we do not hear much about that number any longer because they have moved on to other lies....

    Until then, sod off.

    July 23, 2014 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  7. S Smith

    You can't add 18% people it has helped and 35% people who believe it has helped someone and come up with helping 53% of people. Who knows that 18% of the 35% of people who knew someone weren't talking about the exact same people who said they were helped. That would mean it potentially helped 35% of people. Adding # together is conjecture totally as wrong as my conjecture. All I do know for sure is America has hardly begun to see the financial cost as well as the poorer healthcare that is coming like a tsunami if we don't rectify it.

    July 23, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  8. Toni

    I work in the health care industry. Obamacare is a complete disaster. I've had patients waiting twice as long as before Obamacare just to have simple procedures performed. Some aren't getting these procedures because under their new insurance it isn't covered. Of course, my over 65's are happy, they now have maternity coverage. What mess this all is! Oh, and the people whining how they couldn't get surgeries or treatments before this Obama disaster without insurance obviously didn't know where to go. We're a non-profit. You can come here for your gunshots, heart attacks, cancer care, and more and it's all free. Just don't pay your bill. There's nothing we can do about it.

    July 23, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    James_IL

    BEFORE OBAMACARE:
    – Insurance Premium $78/month
    – Deductible $1,500/year

    AFTER OBAMACARE:
    – Insurance Premium $200/month
    – Deductible $5,000/year
    --------------------------
    BEFORE OBAMACARE
    – Annual checkups cost you an "office visit deductible" between $5 and %50, per person.
    – Testing associated with annual wellness visits were rarely paid in full by insurers.
    – You paid for a lot of things that were partially covered, or not at all.
    – A deductible of $1500/year sounds like major medical was an out-of-pocket expense with no cap.

    AFTER OBAMACARE
    – Annual checkups cost you nothing out of pocket per person.
    – Testing associated with annual wellness visits are covered in full by insurers.
    – You insurance covers 80% of the cost of many things that were previously not covered at all.
    – You are now 80% covered for major medical up to an annual cap of $5000.

    July 23, 2014 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  10. SimplyPut

    In Obama's mind, our border can fall apart, our foreign allies can go screw themselves, the NSA can spy on us, the IRS can quell free speech, our 2nd Amendment can be infringed upon, guns can be run to the Mexican cartel on the taxpayer dime while Obama goes golfing with a smile. But if even the slightest breath is whispered that his signature piece of legislation, which is still unpopular with the majority of Americans, might fall then he runs to his bully pulpit and whines about the injustices of the world.

    July 23, 2014 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  11. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Lynda/Minnesota says:
    July 23, 2014 10:59 am at 10:59 am
    Silence DoGood
    Hopefully this will debunk all the right wing talking heads that are claiming “no one” wants the ACA. One by one the myths have gone down, from death panels to arrests for not signing up to numbers of new insured people.
    —————————————————————-

    I fully well expect though, with tin foil firmly in place, that there will be claims of a vast government conspiracy that no one can see that is beaming mind rays into CNN headquarters to make them change the poll data.
    ———————————————————–

    This continual willingness of CNN to drag out one anti-Obama poll after another serves no purpose beyond getting folks all railed up.

    It certainly is NOT to be benefit of America, nor I suspect, the world at large. In days gone by, and taking into consideration world events as they are today, all this anti-incumbent presidential rhetoric, WOULD have been considered not only taboo, but anti-American as well.

    Thank you!👏👏👏

    July 23, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  12. Hector Slagg

    Whazzat?,
    Is Obama Care working? Of course it is! If you don't believe me just ask me !! And Folks, don't forget to pay your Taxes, I need the money. You do pay Taxes, don't you??? Now what's that I hear that Premiums are going up next year by some 20 percent? Remember, pay your Taxes. As a added bonus take a illegal to lunch. That helps.

    July 23, 2014 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  13. CALIFORNIA

    This is by far the most corrupt president in history with out a doubt.

    July 23, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  14. truth hurts but reality bites

    Obamacare wasn't 'healthcare reform'. It was a huge new government healthcare entitlement program masquerading as 'healthcare reform'. There were 21 new taxes to pay for it but then there were the hidden taxes for everybody with existing healthcare policies. Higher costs and higher deductibles for all the government mandates, whether you needed, wanted or could even use them, you got to pay for them.

    Obamacare is the way the federal government now sticks its political nose into the healthcare of every single American citizen. Our healthcare system is now being controlled by the feds at HHS and the IRS. I hope everybody likes their healthcare being a political pawn in the hands of rotten politicians and federal bureaucrats! You might want to ask the dead veterans families about it as they have experienced it first hand at the VA.

    July 23, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  15. OBAMA - THE OPEN BORDERS PRESIDENT

    They enacted a law without reading it in entirety and it was strictly done along party lines. The repercussions will be with us for a long time and half the country will never like it. I can't wait to get the real numbers on how many are actually paying their premiums and the long term costs – its going to be staggering.

    July 23, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  16. Anthony

    I have a follow-up question to my earlier question. Since conservatives are in favor of letting people buy insurance across state lines, why don't we allow people in states that don't have state-established exchanges to buy insurance from out-of-state exchanges that are established by the states? That way, they can get federal subsidies because they are buying insurance from exchanges established by the states.

    July 23, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. betterdays

    I don't know what's sadder: That "someone somewhere" was helped is considered validation, or that almost half of those polled think absolutely "no one anywhere" was helped.

    July 23, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  18. Gurgyl

    It is working, so only 28 million people are insured–these are not dumb.

    July 23, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  19. tom l

    The Real Tom Paine

    Tommy G
    Obamacare is not and has not been implemented as the law required. The disaster of Obamacare was STOPPED by Obama with numerous delays and changes, unlawful delays and changes. To ask right now is deceitful because the worse parts of it are yet to come. Obama delayed them so the Democrats wouldn't get totally slaughtered this November. But you can be sure, the disaster called Obamacare is by no means over.
    *******************
    |Do you just repeat these over and over, or are these statements just uploaded directly into your cortex every morning?

    ==========================

    This is gonna be fun...So, Real TP, are going to say the same thing to Sniffit and Rudy since they say the same thing over and over? Oh, and are you going to criticize Wake Up and Lynda for telling Fair is Fair to "kick rocks" while Wake Up also told Fair to "KMBA". And she wasn't talking about the Knoxville Mortgage Bankers Association. Since you are always so critical of me not calling out repubs, I'm just wondering...

    July 23, 2014 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. sonny crapman

    sonny chapman
    The Kaiser Group once estimated that 45,000 Americans were dying annually from lack of Health Insurance. Anyone know what's the most current numbers ?
    ---

    No, I think that was the number of veterans the criminals at the VA were denying care to and killing.

    July 23, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  21. Longtimer

    SimplyPut

    In Obama's mind, our border can fall apart, our foreign allies can go screw themselves, the NSA can spy on us, the IRS can quell free speech, our 2nd Amendment can be infringed upon, guns can be run to the Mexican cartel on the taxpayer dime while Obama goes golfing with a smile. But if even the slightest breath is whispered that his signature piece of legislation, which is still unpopular with the majority of Americans, might fall then he runs to his bully pulpit and whines about the injustices of the world.
    _____________________
    Good moniker. The reality chum is that the border has never had as much technology, fencing or personnel along it at any other time in history. The reality is that gun rights were significantly expanded by Obama- its just the rwnj that think he's "gonna git yer guns". The truth is "Fast and Furious" was about tracking straw man gun sales in the southwest that went to cartels. Only an idiot believes the US gave guns to criminals in Mexico.
    You have no idea what you are talking about- but that's cool- it is after all just your opinion and not fact.

    July 23, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  22. Pravda

    Is Obamacare working?
    --

    Yes, of course it is working. Also, the borders are secured. All those illegals are not real, just made up, a false scandal. Russia is also in check, and under control. Our knee slapping has worked. Iraq is not being taken over by terrorists either, just more made up false scandal. Syria is peaceful as is Israel and Gaza, just more made up nontroversy. And if all that isn't good enough news, you can rest assured the world has never been safer and it is very tranquil. This concludes the Obama state of the world summary.

    July 23, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  23. Silence DoGood

    Anti-ACA conservative conspiracy lies:
    – it was passed without due process
    – hackers will steal your life savings through the web page (Fox)
    – Obama sabotaged the web page deliberately
    – Death Panels (Palin)
    – 300 million people must sign up
    – all people must sign up
    – it will only help the people who sign up
    – it will fail by itself
    – it will fail after rumors and scares
    – it will fail after the millions spent and hacker hours and rumors and scares
    – you will go to jail if you don't sign up (Paul)
    – reported security flaws
    – Hannity witnesses

    July 23, 2014 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. Sniffit

    " Why can't we focus on opportunity for all and then consequences for our choices in life."

    Because the GOP/Teatrolls truly don't want the former so the latter becomes unfair.

    July 23, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  25. Lynda/Minnesota

    Psst, tom I

    That comment you are referencing? I misunderstood it and should have zigged before I zagged. I freely admit it. My joke backfired much to my embarrassment.

    July 23, 2014 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
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