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. Anonymous

    IM a disabled person under age 60 and have medicare. Medicare was terribly limited to what was being covered. In the STATE OF IL.. I was compelled to have MEDICAID as a supplement. but they discontinued all dental care and eye care and other previously covered services. So I explored and bought a personal policy with ALL THAT Coverage and more. I got the plan and the cards .. and suddenly could not use it at all! Not because i didnt notify Medicare.. but because some abusive US govt agents TERMINATED MY COVERAGE and when I caught them they ordered the carrier NOT TO REINSTATE Me.. violating my insurance coverages//when I tried to go back to my previous coverages IL MEDICAID would not requalify me so i have none, and MEDICARE wont help me correct the Pharmacy plan which keeps showing I have no coverage and at my applied meds arent covered when the coverage book says they are.. This is what you get when you are a whistle blower against FRAUD AND ABUSIVER govt personnel.. Pam Toll PARK FOREST IL
    NO COVERAGE From OBAMAS people

    July 23, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. OBAMA - THE OPEN BORDERS PRESIDENT

    Did your premiums drop by $2500 per family or were your able to keep your doctor? NO.

    July 23, 2014 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  3. sam

    "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."

    Sums it up. In the abstract of course it has helped some people, those with preexisting conditions for example. So most people should say it has helped some people.

    The main thing is that it has actually helped less than 20% of the population. Obamacare has tried to use a sledgehammer to crack a nut and the result is as would be expected.

    July 23, 2014 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    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.
    *****************
    Interesting that you can't say how its affected you and your wife, or are you just assuming it has?

    July 23, 2014 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. Treebeard

    Don't toss it,
    fix it.

    July 23, 2014 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. Sniffit

    "The disaster of Obamacare was STOPPED by Obama with numerous delays and changes, unlawful delays and changes. "

    Heckler v. Chaney. Eat it.

    July 23, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  7. Catwalker

    I have good health care. It was NOT disrupted at all. However, now my daughters DO have health care..one with a pre-existing condition that before this 'terrible law' would have left her uninsured and unable to afford her much needed medications and care. I know this will piss off a lot of you conservatives, but the law has helped. It could have been better, but it is far far far better than anything the Republicans proposed, which was, I think, nothing....

    July 23, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. 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?

    July 23, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. Sniffit

    "Midterm electorates are smaller than those of presidential elections"

    In fact, data shows that the primary turnouts for both parties this year were much lower than expected...for BOTH parties.

    July 23, 2014 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  10. Donna

    Wake up America!! This was all by design when the law was passed. ALL of the good stuff, the free stuff, was implemented immediately and ALL of the worse parts, ALL the painful parts, ALL of the costly parts were all to be implemented LATER.

    The problem is that when some of those started being implemented, the American people were in open revolt and Obama STOPPED IMPLEMENTING OBAMACARE. When 6 million people had their insurance cancelled, people starting losing their doctor, losing their hospital, losing their healthcare plan, OBAMA STOPPED the employer mandate which would have done the same thing to tens of millions of employer based people. That disaster is yet to happen!! And then their all of the union people who are going to get dinged for their Cadillac plans big time.

    You are being conned by Obama and the Democrats. If you leave them in office beyond November, the Obamacare disaster will really be let lose.

    July 23, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  11. SeanZ

    Once Again, Spin City form the liberal Network, just like MSNBC, just lower ratings.

    July 23, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  12. Sniffit

    LOL. /golfclaps for CNN's deliberate avoidance of any real reporting on the subject. Polls are meaningless in this regard. They merely reflect the level of misinformation the MSM perpetuates, rather than telling us whether a certain law is ACTUALLY working. DATA tells us whether it is working and DATA shows that 20M have signed up at this point. DATA shows that the vast majority of them did not have insurance prior to the ACA. DATA shows us that premiums are already being affected in a positive manner. DATA shows that states who implemented the Medicaid expansion are seeing more benefits across the board than those that spitefully refused it. How you could write this article while leaving out the 20M figure is...well, no, it's not a mystery...you consistently avoid facts and we all know why.

    July 23, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. Jeff Bolton

    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 spinning at it's best, 18% said they are better off while 82% didn't, of that same group of people 35% said their lives hadn't improved but that they knew someone whose had, again 65% didn't. If your going to add together the positive to come to 53% then you have to be fair and add the negatives, 147%.

    July 23, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  14. davecu

    I don't argue that there is a need for so form of reform to the health care norm.
    I DO hold contemptible the democrats unilaterally voting for a partisan, non-debated, closed door approach.

    They lost any trust I might have had then. History has verified my mistrust.

    July 23, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota

    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.

    July 23, 2014 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  16. Sniffit

    What's more, deliberately tossing out a statistic like "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" is pretty dishonest without context...such as recognizing that 40 million uninsured Americans constitutes about 13% of the entire US population (i.e., less than the 18% reporting a benefit), or that the vast majority of people are not going to notice much of a change one way or the other...and were never going to because 85% of the insured population gets their insurance through their employer...or that people seeing their premiums still rise, albeit at a lower rate of increase, are not likely to see or understand or even care that it rose at a slower rate when the bottom line is that their premium still increased, even though it is slowing. Instead, you deliberately hang things out there out of context in hopes of stirring the nontroversy pot. Black hole journalism...designed not to inform but to inflame.

    July 23, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  17. Bill from GA

    " less than one in five Americans say they have personally benefited from the health care law "

    This opinion is mainly based on ignorance. Healthcare cost increases are lower for most Americans because of Obamacare. Without it, we would likely continue see insurance costs rising 20% or more per year.

    July 23, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. 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.

    July 23, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. rs

    The law works. Just based on the number- 11 million Americans with new access to health insurance alone speaks volumes. It stopped the long (and tragic) slide during the last decade when 8 million Americans became uninsured.
    An even better metric? The law survived and worked despite a $200 million GOP/Koch fact-free for all to undermine it. How in the world anyone can be against a plan that helps Americans gain access to medical care is beyond conscience. Republicans would much rather deny medical care to millions (leading to thousands of deaths) of Americans in Red states than allow this President to have a successful program. But hey, that's what happens when a party places the game of politics above actual leadership.

    July 23, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  20. Allen W

    40% are those that probably are not paying for it. Why can't we focus on opportunity for all and then consequences for our choices in life. I am sick to death of our nanny government.

    July 23, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  21. Sniffit

    "As a control value for determining fairness this "poll" already appears left leaning."

    LOL. Your entire post that pretends to do a mathematical analysis is so ridiculously incorrect in terms of the way statistical analyses are actually conducted. The GOP/Teatrolls really need to stop trying to "unskew" information (as meaningless as this poll really is) that contradicts their preferred version of reality. For one thing, scientific sampling methodology is design to be random in order to produce a sample of the public at large that is representative of the public at large. More people in the general public identify as Dems than as GOPers. That is a fact. You appear to believe that forcing the sample to be 50/50 is the only way to be fair, when in fact that would be improperly skewed towards the GOP because the general public is not split 50/50 in terms of party identification.

    July 23, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  22. Catwalker

    Well, since the entire purpose of the GOP now seems to be 'get rid of the dreaded O' I guess that's why nothing gets done by congress and what little does get done comes from executive order. At least someone is working in D.C.

    July 23, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  23. Physician

    The affordable care act has been a qualified success. As someone in the trenches of medicine, the improved access to healthcare for a large segment of the population has been favorable to both individual health and public health. Personally, the additional time requirements in paperwork has been brutal; however, I will begrudingly do it to provide care to the previously underserved.
    From a fiscal standpoint, the data supports that the ACA has lowered and will continue to lower national healthcare related expeditures. There are certainly valid arguments against ACA; however, the opposition that suggest that (1) it is raising costs/taxes and (2) it is limiting access to quaility care, are uninformed at best.

    July 23, 2014 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  24. ib4ucy

    Before OBAMAnoCARE, I do not remember seeing dead bodies all over the streets. The old system needed to be only tweaked – NOT shot in the head.

    July 23, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  25. rs

    And- it is still useful to remember that the GOP STILL has no plan to help deal with the crisis in the access to health care for Americans OR veterans.

    I think when they actually have a real-live plan that can be discussed and debated we can engage in a deeper analysis of the ACA- until then- its the law of the land and it works.

    July 23, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
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