Kaiser Health Tracking Poll

(By – Bianca DiJulio, Jamie Firth, and Mollyann Brodie; Kaiser Family Foundation)

The ACA’s third open enrollment will come to a close at the end of January and the December Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that, at this point, only 7 percent of the uninsured correctly identify this as the deadline to enroll in coverage and 20 percent say they have been contacted by someone about signing up for coverage. When asked why they have not personally obtained health insurance this year, nearly half of the uninsured (46 percent) say they have tried to get coverage but that it was too expensive. However, slightly over half of the uninsured (55 percent) say they plan to get health insurance in the next few months.

The race for the Democratic presidential nomination has recently included debate about creating a national health plan in which all Americans would get their insurance through an expanded form of Medicare generally called Medicare-for-all. Majorities of Democrats (81 percent) and independents (60 percent) favor the idea of Medicare-for-all compared to 63 percent of Republicans who oppose it. Few Democrats see the issue as a major factor in their vote at this point. Just 5 percent of Democrats say they favor the idea of Medicare-for-all and a candidate’s support for it will be the single most important factor in their vote. However, a third of Democrats (34 percent) say they favor it and it will be very important, but not the most important factor in their vote, 36 percent say it will be one of many factors they will consider and five percent say it will not matter at all.  The poll did not present details or arguments for and against Medicare-for-all and future polls may examine support and opposition in greater depth.

As the U.S. Senate voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) earlier this month, more of the public views the health care law unfavorably than favorably (46 percent vs. 40 percent). In addition, the public remains divided over what Congress should do next with the law, with 35 percent supporting repeal, 14 percent supporting scaling back the law, 18 percent who say they would like to see it implemented as is, and 22 percent who say they want the law expanded. While half of the public (51 percent) says they have not been directly impacted by the law, more say they have been hurt by the law than say they have been helped (29 percent vs. 17 percent). These perceptions of the law and its personal impacts vary starkly by political party identification as they have since the law’s inception. Read more…

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