July 23rd, 2014
06:00 AM ET
7 years 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.

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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 itโ€™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. Marie MD

    It is but the courts are not making it easy right now are they?
    In spite of it all the apocalyptic bs and the rocky start it IS working. This is why the teaklans had to grab on to another myth, Benghazi for starters, and everything else our President has ever tried to do for our country.
    Desperate anyone?

    July 23, 2014 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  2. dortyboy

    Obama care is working. Government used to be for the people and their rights now politicians are all about themselves and how they can benefit there party .

    July 23, 2014 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  3. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    YES, it's still working dispite REPUBLICAN SABATAUGE and OBSTRUCTION , just imagine if the GOP CLOWNS cooperated in getting healthcare for all Americans instead of FIGHTING HEALTHCARE for all Americans , HOW STUPID IS THAT. Wait till November when this all comes back on the GOP !!!!

    July 23, 2014 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  4. Gurgyl

    Yes. Now insurance companies are not denying your coverage. Yes, it is working. Watch out doctors and hospitals that deny insurances. Punish.

    July 23, 2014 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  5. RomneyWho

    To Oppose: to place over against something so as to provide resistance, counterbalance, or contrast. How can one oppose something that they are for but it doesn't go far enough? Unacceptable is more appropriate term . . . ( poor, not good or doesn't go far enough. Add that 17% to the 40% and you have 57% that are for Obama Care but out of the 57%, 17% says' while they are for it, it doesn't go far enough. ๐Ÿ™

    July 23, 2014 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  6. Reality check

    This article is an absolute travesty on being truthful about this failed program and what Americans really think.

    "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.
    Are you kidding me? You add 18% who say they are better off since BOcare and 35% who say their lives have NOT IMPROVED but they think it has helped others together?
    If whomever wrote this garbage thinks this makes sense you have serious mental or moral issues.

    July 23, 2014 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  7. GlobalTrvlr

    "Add those two numbers together, and that means 53% say that Obamacare has helped either their families or others across the country."

    Wow. Like that is a valid way to treat statistics? Presumably if you asked five questions where 10% of the country approved in one way or another, and then added them all up, you could say that >50% supports it. Math is hard, and should not be in the hands of journalists.

    July 23, 2014 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  8. Tampa Tim

    ACA has not helped the red state voters, because their governors refused to set up exchanges and accept Medicaid expansion money. All in all, there are now over 296 million Americans insured, and those of us in red states will be the only ones with major premium increases. The Kochs wasted another $900 million on right wing stupidity to derail ACA.

    July 23, 2014 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  9. Tampa Tim

    John Boehner made Obamacare the focus of the midterms? What is he . . . drunk?

    July 23, 2014 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  10. Guest

    These polls are worthless. The bottom line is that O-Care has only helped a small slice of the population: those with serious pre-existing health issues who wanted a cheaper way to pay their medical bills and people who either had or wanted health insurance a government subsidized rates. That is a tiny portion of the US population. Everyone else will see either an increase in cost and reduction in benefits (most) or no meaningful change. The worst is yet to come...once the exchanges and insurance companies are hit with massive losses due to adverse selection, O-Care costs will go through the roof. This will occur just as O is leaving office.

    July 23, 2014 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  11. bgj

    there is little doubt it has helped some. but that has come at enormous cost, and many more have been harmed, either by loss of coverage, increased costs, or loss of access to care that was working in favor of alternate care that does not work as well. the law needs to be called the Patient non-Protection and un-Affordable Care Act.

    July 23, 2014 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  12. ken2112

    So the Republicans have no problem taking away health insurance from millions of people just to prove a point and, once again, demonize this President. Yep, sounds like "smart politics" to me...NOT

    July 23, 2014 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  13. Tone

    You can always bank on CNN to come up with a conjunction when it comes to the great things this President. It's either the ACA is working or it's not.

    July 23, 2014 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  14. Tone

    correction the great things this President is doing for the American.

    July 23, 2014 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  15. an Iowan

    The majority of Americans have insurance through their employers, so unless the poll was limited to only those people who needed insurance outside of employer supplied, or are not on Medicare, this poll is absolutely useless and has no merit.

    July 23, 2014 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  16. James_IL

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

    AFTER OBAMACARE:
    – Insurance Premium $200/month
    – Deductible $5,000/year

    When President Obama was first elected, instead of focusing on the economy and job restoration, he and the Democrats in Congress focused on passing Obamacare....A law poorly written, executed terribly, costing Americans MORE...

    I now pay MORE every month for my premiums, deductible and prescriptions, under Obamacare! For healthcare that I DON'T NEED OR WANT!!!

    OBAMACARE NEEDS TO BE REPEALED AND REPLACED WITH A COMMONSENSE LAW!

    – COVER pre-existing conditions
    – ELIMINATE lifetime benefit caps for pre-existing conditions
    – NO frivolous lawsuits
    – NO barrier to competition across state lines

    July 23, 2014 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  17. Chris..E.al

    The not so aca is a zonk most ppl can only find two things out of a zillion that is even worth two cents just like most things they should have read it . Instead of just ram it through . That is their the dems words not ours .

    July 23, 2014 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  18. yw

    "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."

    This report is stupid, it doesnt even qualify as propaganda, just stupid

    July 23, 2014 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  19. George

    It is irresponsible to alter 1/6th of the economy to help 3 or 4 million people, only the democrats or socialists think that is a good thing.

    July 23, 2014 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  20. chris

    Obamacare is working! Working to destroy this country, that is.

    July 23, 2014 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  21. SES ZOO

    It might be working now for families which is good ,But how is it working out for the Hospitals ,Doctors and other's in the health care line .? Are they getting paid and on time for their services and prescriptions ? Are the insurance companies getting paid for the plans they are offering . I don't have this ins. as I'm covered by my own ,but I noticed that my Doctors office put up a notice in the office saying their no longer accepting the plan associated with the states health care plan under Obama care ,What happens to the patients that have been going to the doc for treatment ,does the doctor have to keep treating them because they were supposed to keep their physician . Or do these patients now have to find another one that will accept this ins.? It's a rural area and not a lot of doctors and facilities around here ,let alone not much in the way of public transportation .Haven't really seen much in the regular news on how the health cares providers have been making out with these plans.

    July 23, 2014 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  22. 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.

    July 23, 2014 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  23. Steve- Illinois

    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.
    Are you or someone in your family better off because of Obamacare? 18% say yes.
    Does giving someone something for free benefit anyone in the U.S.? 35% say yes (duh)

    Add those two numbers together, and that means 53% say that Obamacare has helped either their families or others across the country.
    Actually, it doesn't mean that. It means that 35% THINK that Obamacare has helped someone, somewhere, in the U.S.
    Which is a very low number considering the 3 million, or so, that have been qualified for "free" insurance, yet 47% believe Obamacare hasn't helped anyone.

    July 23, 2014 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  24. Otuka Andy C.

    Please be focused and never mind what people say,Certainly whoever that has mouth must TALK!

    July 23, 2014 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  25. Doyle Wiley, MI

    ", although less than one in five Americans say they have personally benefited from the health care law, according to a new national poll."
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________

    The numbers don't mean a lot when most Americans don't realize all the ways the Affordable Care Act impacts them, if they did know the numbers impacted would be much higher.

    July 23, 2014 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
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