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Americans Less Apathetic about the ACA in 2014

October 10, 2014
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Since it was enacted, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been a source of controversy among many Americans. However, according to Gallup’s polls, a majority of Americans feel that the law has had no effect on them. Since the beginning of 2014, more Americans are reporting that the law has affected them-- either positively or negatively. Here are the results from the latest Gallup poll on Americans’ perception of how the ACA has impacted them.

Background on the Survey

The Gallup poll results are based on telephone interviews with 1,014 adults (18 and older) conducted on October 1, 2014 through October 2, 2014. The margin of error is + or - 4 percentage points. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish on landlines and on cell phones.

The ACA’s Perceived Impact

The percentage of Americans who report that the ACA had no effect on them has dropped from 70 percent to 54 percent since 2012. However, more Americans report that the law has hurt them (27 percent) than helped them (16 percent).ACA1

Chart: Gallup

Overall, Americans are both more positive and more negative about how the healthcare reform law has affected themselves and their families:

  • In 2014, the percent of Americans who reported that the law has helped them increased from ten percent to 16 percent

  • In 2014, the percent of Americans who reported that the law has hurt them has increased from 19 percent to 27 percent

Overall attitudes about the ACA have remained constant over the past year:

  • Over half (53 percent) of Americans disapprove of the ACA

  • The percentage of Americans who approve of the ACA has remained at 41 percent

ACA’s Perceived Impact Remains Sharply Divided

Attitudes about the ACA’s impact remain sharply divided dependent on the respondent’s political affiliation.ACA2

Chart: Gallup

Individuals who identify themselves as Democrats are more likely than Independents or Republicans to report that the ACA has helped them. The percentage of individuals who reported that the law has has no effect on them remains similar among all political affiliations.

  • Only six percent of Democrats said the law has hurt them in May; this has increased to 15 percent of Democrats

  • The percentage of Democrats who report that the law has helped them has also increased from 23 percent in May to 27 percent now

Most View the Long-Term Effects as Negative

Americans’ views on the long-term effects of the ACA have remained fairly stable over the past year. The views remain more negative than positive.ACA3

Chart: Gallup

  • Almost half (46 percent) of respondents reported that the law will make things worse long-term

  • Over a third (33 percent) of respondents reported that the law will make things better in the long run

  • Fifteen percent of respondents reported that the law will not make much of a difference

Read the full poll results at Gallup.

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