Employers aren’t the only ones with skepticism about the Patient Protection and Affordable CareAct’s exchanges. The public is less interested inbuying health coverage through the public exchanges during thelaw’s second enrollment period, with likelihood of consumers buyingPPACA plans dropping 19 percentage points from last year, accordingto a new poll by the Morning Consult.

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The new data follows findings out last week from consulting firmTowers Watson that found virtually all of the 349 HR professionalsat mid- and-large-sized companies surveyed — 99.5 percent — saidthere was no way they were going to move all their employees overto a public exchange.

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Morning Consult found that exchange interest among votersdropped significantly since last year when the exchanges opened. Alittle more than one in four (28 percent) last year saidthey were “not at all likely” to purchase coverage in theexchanges. What do respondents say this year:

  • Not at all likely - 47 percent;
  • Not too likely - 13 percent;
  • Said they might go either way - 16 percent;
  • Likely to purchase coverage on the exchanges - 9percent;
  • “Almost certainly” buy coverage - 6 percent; and
  • Didn’t know - 9 percent.

Among those who have already purchased insurance on theexchanges, Morning Consult polling found that 43 percent plan tokeep their insurance plan, 29 percent plan to shop for a new planand 25 percent are undecided about what they’ll do.

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Decline in interest would be problematic for the administration,carriers and consumers. Little participation would most likelyresult in increased premiums for consumers across the board.

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The exchanges have been under increased pressure as PPACA’ssecond open enrollment period begins Nov. 15.

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The Government Accountability Office in a report detailedcontinued privacy and security weaknesses onHealthCare.gov despite some strides made by the Centers forMedicare & Medicaid Services within the last year, andconfusion and concern by consumers still plague the law.

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Last week, the Obama administration announced that PPACA had7.3 million paying enrollees as of mid-August,down from the 8 million figure they announced at the end ofenrollment in April.

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Fewer consumers to shop on PPACA exchanges

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