Americans still aren’t happy with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
But they don’t want to see it repealed, either. They’d prefer efforts to improve the law instead.
A Kaiser Family Foundation poll released this week found that the public’s views of the law haven’t changed much after the troubled rollout of HealthCare.gov.
Half of Americans have a negative opinion of PPACA, against only 34 percent who have a positive view.
Still, 55 percent said they accept PPACA as settled law that should be improved, rather than repealed, while 38 percent said they support continued efforts to repeal it. Another 6 percent were unsure.
President Obama slammed Republicans on their ongoing efforts to repeal the law during his State of the Union address earlier this week and said he’s willing to hear suggestions on how to make the law better.
Republican lawmakers on Monday pitched a blueprint for a PPACA replacement, and said the best alternative would be a narrower system of tax credits for Americans to buy health insurance without any of the mandates for people or companies to participate.
Mirroring other surveys, Kaiser Family also found continued confusion regarding the law. The poll found that just 19 percent say most or all of the law’s provisions have been put into place, and large shares of the uninsured are unaware of major provisions of the law that could affect them.
And, 66 percent of the uninsured (and 44 percent of the public overall) say they don’t have enough information to understand how the law will impact their families.
Following releasing its January tracking poll, Kaiser Family Foundation also on Friday introduced a new health policy news index that reports on stories capturing the public’s attention.
It found that the majority of Americans closely followed stories about PPACA’s rollout in January, with 55 percent saying they followed the story “very” or “fairly” closely.
Also on the public’s mind was legal action surrounding PPACA’s birth control mandate (46 percent), discussions of PPACA in the 2014 elections (43 percent), and coverage of states’ decisions about whether to expand Medicaid (38 percent).
Still, no health care story was as popular as news of the economy, as nearly 70 percent said they closely followed the issue.
“The index is designed to help news organizations and everyone in the health field see where they may want to do more to inform the public about the big health issues of the day,” Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman said.