August 29, 2013

Many Americans unsure if the health care law is still in effect


More than four-in-ten Americans think the new health care law has been repealed, overturned in court or are just unsure whether it remains the law.

Since the passage of President Obama’s 2010 health care law, the Republican-controlled House has voted 40 times to repeal all or part of it. Now, some Republicans have declared themselves still intent on rolling back the law, with one strategy being to de-fund it as part of legislation needed to keep the government running after Oct. 1.

As the Oct. 1 launch date approaches under the Affordable Care Act for setting up health insurance marketplaces where uninsured people can shop for coverage, a Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds about half (51%) of those surveyed say they don’t have enough information about the ACA to understand how it will impact them and their families.

But the survey, conducted Aug. 15-18, also finds that 44% of Americans are unsure whether ACA remains the law. About three-in-ten (31%) say they don’t know, while 8% think it has been repealed by Congress and 5% believe it was overturned by the Supreme Court (which upheld the law in June by a 5-to-4 decision).

While the Kaiser poll found that overall opinion on the law continued to “tilt negative” in August, with 42% seeing it unfavorably and 37% having a favorable view, a majority (57%) of Americans disapproved of the idea of cutting off funding as a means of stopping the law from being put into effect.

Category: Daily Number

  1. Photo of Bruce Drake

    is a senior editor at Pew Research Center.


  1. Stanley Krauter4 years ago

    Why are reporters more interested in entertaining the public instead of educating voters?
    Because they are always writing about today’s most important facts, e.g., Anthony Weiner’s qualifications for public service, reporters are distacting voters from remembering yesterday’s most important facts. This is the real reason why the pre-crisis journalism on the housing bubble and subprime mortgage fraud was ignored by politicians and regulators. The information was forgotten by voters as white noise. If voters had really been enraged by the scandals then our government would have been forced to prevent the Great Recession. Campaign finance reform will never work as long as voters are as ignorant as the Pew Research Center has documented. And there has been more than enough news reports on our tax laws since the reforms of 1986 but none of them was able to stop Congress from repeatedly enacting more and more tax expenditures for the richest and most powerful special interest groups. As for fact checking, the new status symbol among journalists, it has been less effective than campaign advertising in virtually every election.
    But reporters don’t care enough about their failures to change their professional standard of “writing the first draft of history.” The problem of distracting voters could be largely overcome by every daily newspaper publishing an annual one week review of the year’s most important facts. This would give hard working reporters, and most of them work very hard, a second chance to educate voters instead of entertaining them. So why won’t reporters give themselves a second chance to overcome their many failures to communicate. Why aren’t they so disappointed in their failures that they will consider a new idea for working smarter and harder. I have come to believe that reporters are more interested in entertaining themselves than they are interested in educating voters. Wriing the first draft of history is exciting. Writing second draft is boring.

  2. Dan F4 years ago

    This is a direct result of the Republican and right wing “media” disinformation campaign. There are a huge number of people who actually believe that the government will now be paying their medical bills, and that they will no longer have coverage from the same companies that provided it before. And 99% of them listen to Fox News