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 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. Rick McDaniel

    No. Not only is ObamaCare not working for many people I know, it has had a very negative impact on Medicare for both my wife and I.

    It is an expensive monstrosity that has only aided those who were placed on Medicaid........and not much of anyone else.

    July 23, 2014 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  2. smith

    This is a junk law and no matter who wins in 2016 major changes will come to the ACA. How are higher premuims, higher deductibles, and more out of costs on medication a good thing? The pre-existing conditions part of the law is the only good part, the rest is poop.

    July 23, 2014 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  3. NIck Darling

    Of course, Obamacare “helps” lots of people but that’s not the right questions. Giving someone $1 million would help them, too. The questions are whether 1) it’s worth the investment to provide the care that’s being provided; 2) mandatory healthcare is right and constitutional; 3) can the private sector do a better job with healthcare; and 4) we are ruining the US economy be providing yet another entitlement program.

    July 23, 2014 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    It certainly is working for those of my fellow co-workers that signed up for it.
    It is not perfect by far, but it is better to have and not need than to need and not have.
    We can improve it over time when bi-partisanship makes a comeback to Congress.

    July 23, 2014 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Excellent. Keep up the good work with those spotlights, Republicans. Keep Americans fully aware of your efforts to deny and take away health care insurance from millions. You're doing a fantastic job of making fools of yourselves.

    July 23, 2014 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  6. dnokc

    When the introductory premium goes away in a month or so....poll them then.

    July 23, 2014 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  7. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    I hope the GOP keeps focused on the ACA or obamacare because it IS WORKING. My 34 year old son has a blue cross SILVER POLICY for 65.20 a month WHICH IS CHEAPER then some employer given policies and BETTER. Most employers give you a take it or leave it policy, with the ACA or obamacare , you have your CHOICE of many policies depending on what you NEED and how much you can AFFORD. GOP, PACK YOUR BAGS. Running AGAINEST healthcare for all Americans has to be the DUMBEST GOP AGENDA EVER!!!!!!!

    July 23, 2014 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  8. tsl

    "subsidies for the millions of Americans enrolled in the federal government's HealthCare.gov exchange."

    FREE healthcare for the welfare queens, illegals paid for by working American taxpaying citizen.

    July 23, 2014 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  9. alan

    The artice says "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 is bad math. What thi really means that 35% think that the law benefited 18% of the people.

    July 23, 2014 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  10. rla

    The questions on this poll must have been created by the White House-- Please tell me anything that would make you think this is a valid poll???? Can CNN get any worde as a news outlet?

    July 23, 2014 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

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

    And they're proudly sticking by their opinions, too.

    July 23, 2014 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  12. JJR

    Premiums have gone up, co pays have doubled and prescription costs have doubled. So for this United Healthcare insured person obamacare has not helped anything.

    Obamacare is not about healthcare, it is about insurance.

    July 23, 2014 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  13. Erich

    Isn't that poll question a bit misleading? Has this helped you, or do you know someone it has helped – versus has it not helped you? It's like asking do you prefer driving Trucks, or know anyone who does – versus do you prefer driving Cars? That question would not compare preferences.

    July 23, 2014 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  14. Dead Bear

    Single payer would have been the way to go. Man/woman, rich/poor, politician/citizen, military/civilian, all on equal footing as far as healthcare is concerned. And put an end to this disgusting practice of insurers making money off of the sick.

    July 23, 2014 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  15. Anthony

    I will like to ask anyone on this blog: is it possible for an insurance company from a state that does not have state-established exchange to go on the state-established exchange in another state? Let's say that insurance company A from Florida wants to go on the exchange in New York, and New York is willing to host company A on its exchange. If a person from Florida buys insurance from company A on the New York exchange, would that person from Florida qualify for federal subsidies since he or she would be buying from an exchange established by a state?

    July 23, 2014 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  16. Logictox

    So the poll really says that most people still dislike the law. It benefits a few at the expense of the rest. They call that socialism!

    July 23, 2014 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  17. WOW

    Not working for my family....lost my doctor...lost my local hospital...deductible has gone up 4times what it was....Nope, complete FAIL IMHO!

    July 23, 2014 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  18. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    "Add those two numbers together, and that means 53% say that Obamacare has helped either their families or others across the country."
    "but 17% say they oppose it because it's not liberal enough"
    --------------------------------------
    That's a majority. I myself fall into that 17% because I'm for a single payer system, but I don't totally oppose the law. I'm sure the other 17% of liberals feel the same way. So technically the approval of the law is at 70% wouldn't you say?

    July 23, 2014 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  19. Mikeed13

    It's a joke and CNN knows its a joke but they cannot to say anything bad about their adopted pet who is trying to impersonate a president.everyone knows what's coming in November because of this imbecile.

    July 23, 2014 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  20. Tony

    My deductible went from 400$ to 2400$ And then i pay 20% of the bill what a ripoff.

    July 23, 2014 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  21. PJ

    Obamacare has been a godsend to many, especially those who had difficulty obtaining insurance. The ACA has allowed my adult children to be on my policy which was never the case in the past. I just don't understand why so much criticism about it.

    July 23, 2014 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  22. Michael MN

    Will truly be a first class country when we do not have to depend on your job to have health care
    It is beyond me why companys would want to deal with that

    July 23, 2014 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  23. kr34t0r

    No matter what your opinion of the law itself, it is just flat-out ignorant to claim that it hasn't helped "anyone" in the country. People are so partisan these days that they will simply make anything up as long as it goes along with the accepted party narrative.

    July 23, 2014 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  24. miscreantsall

    Interesting.

    I have two friends that "had to" (for different legitimate reasons) participate in the Affordable Care Act.

    They have no complaints, but that may be because of their individual circumstances.

    July 23, 2014 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  25. Tampa Tim

    The over served speaker of the house knows GOBaggers cannot run on any republican accomplishments, because there aren't any that helped Americans. They shut down government($24 billion), conducted 150 witch hunts at a cost of hundreds of millions, 56 attempts to repeal ACA, 35 attacks on women's rights, refused to pass the senate bipartisan immigration reform, the senate bipartisan jobs bill, the bipartisan senate extension of unemployment benefits, and work less than 100 days a year for their $174,000 welfare benefit.

    July 23, 2014 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
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