Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

Views of health care law among uninsured Americans turn more negative

The overall public’s view of the health care law has continued to be negative since the initial October rollout (this month, 50% see it unfavorably and 34% favorably), but views have turned more negative among the key target group—those who are uninsured, according to a Kaiser Health Tracking poll conducted Jan. 14-21.

Among the uninsured, 47% express an unfavorable view of the law compared with 24% who regard it positively. That represents a negative shift since December when views were more divided, with 43% seeing the law unfavorably and 36% seeing it favorably.


While many of the uninsured may have a negative view of the law, Kaiser also found that 73% of them see coverage as something they need and 50% say they plan to obtain it. Four-in-ten say they expect to remain uninsured, with most citing the cost of coverage plans as a reason.

Among the uninsured who plan to get coverage, Kaiser found that many were unsure about where they’d get it. The poll showed 17% who either didn’t know yet or refused to answer, while smaller numbers say they’d turn to private insurers, the marketplace, an employer or Medicaid.

A Gallup poll conducted Jan. 2-28 showed 53% of all uninsured Americans who say they plan to get coverage while 38% say they are more likely to go without coverage and pay the fine that the government would impose. Of those who did plan to get insurance, 56% say they would do so through a government health insurance exchange.