In the run up to the shutdown last month Tail Gunner Ted Cruz warned that if Obamacare was not stopped before it was fully implemented opponents would never be able to get rid of it. He knew that once people found that it wasn’t the catastrophe it has been billed as they would not want to have it taken away — he was right.
A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll found that interest in and acceptance of the law rose in October in spite of the problems with the federal exchange, HealthCare.gov.
The poll found that the uninsured view the law more favorably since the launch of the exchanges, 44% favorable as opposed to a favorable rating of only 37% in September. It is not a huge increase but it is an increase indicating that as people get more information and more accurate information they are warming to the law and its implications.
There are also indications in the poll that had more states set up their own exchanges rather than leaving it to the federal government (all states with ‘small government’ TEApublican Governors and legislatures) the law would have an even higher approval rating. Respondents to the poll living in states which have their own exchanges were more inclined to have a favorable view of the law than those who are forced to use the problem plagued federal exchange.
In September 37% said that they were likely to shop for insurance on the exchanges, in October 42% said that it was likely they would do so. Chris Jackson, an Ipsos pollster, said, “The launch of the exchanges, that’s the first real world event for a lot of people. “There’s been this sense that once people got familiar with it, public opinion would start to move in its direction.”
The poll of 12,000 people was conducted online during October and included 1,100 who identified themselves as uninsured.Approval for the law rose with the general public as well as among the uninsured, going from 44 to 47% with a margin of error of 1 percentage point according to the poll.
Estimates by the CBO say that approximately 7 million people are expected to enroll in a plan through the exchanges in 2014 although the problems with HealthCare.gov may have an impact on those numbers. While the President has promised that the problems are being worked on around the clock and will hopefully be resolved by the end of the month there is no guarantee.
The states which are running their own exchanges are responsible for much of the increased interest and acceptance of the law with over half of the uninsured in those states viewing the law favorably. Uninsured living in the other 36 states are beginning to shift their views but not as quickly as those with access to fully functioning exchanges.
Sara Collins, vice president at the Commonwealth Fund, a private health care research foundation said the technical problems with HealthCare.gov is viewed by those without insurance as, “a technical barrier that is being repaired and it pales to barriers they’ve faced in the past.”