Obamacare Helps Few So Far: Bankrate Survey
Just one in 10 Americans (11%) of the uninsured and 9% of the overall population say the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has improved their health insurance situation over the past year, according to a new Bankrate.com survey.
In fact, 38% of the uninsured said they feel worse about PPACA than they did a year ago (versus 25%, who feel more positive). And 36% of Americans said their health care costs have increased over the past year. Only 5% say they have decreased.
Though results might be premature considering the main provisions of PPACA don’t go into effect next year, Bankrate analysts said that it’s concerning because the exchanges launched a month ago — a place where consumers can browse and enroll in health plans — and “hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent promoting them.”
Roughly 1,000 Americans were asked about their feelings on the law Oct. 17 to 20, weeks after the law’s rough launch.
Even more worrisome, analysts said, is that almost half (47%) of uninsured Americans still don’t know where to turn to for information on the law.
“It’s concerning to see that many of the people who are most likely to benefit from the Affordable Care Act do not know where they can get information on how it will impact them,” Bankrate insurance analyst Doug Whiteman said.
Analysts said government efforts to inform consumers haven’t gone far enough.
But, the good news, Whiteman said, “is that most Americans are showing interest in Obamacare. Whether or not that interest translates into sign-ups will go a long way toward determining the success or failure of Obamacare.”
Nearly two in three uninsured Americans (64%) have become more curious about PPACA since the exchanges opened Oct. 1. Overall, 51% of the population has become more curious over the past month, including a comparable number of Republicans and Democrats.
That curiosity, analysts said, has probably been spurred by negative attention on the law, including its website woes, bickering between political parties and the government shutdown.
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