Confused About ACA Legislation? You're Not Alone

Written by: PeopleKeep Team
Published on February 5, 2015.

Last week, Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) released a survey about public’s opinion on the King v. Burwell case -- a case which could have a considerable impact on the Affordable Care Act. Though the impact of this case could be immense, many are confused about the ACA legislation and its future.

How many individuals are aware of this potentially game-changing Supreme Court Decision? Here's a summary of what KFF's survey uncovered.

Pending Supreme Court Case - King v. Burwell

Wondering what the King v. Burwell case is? According to KFF, if you don’t know or if you are confused, you’re not alone. In fact, 56 percent of surveyees had never heard anything about the case, 30 percent had heard only a little, and only five percent knew a great deal about the case.

And though this may be the first you have heard of the King v. Burwell case, it’s an important case to know about. Why? The decision in this case will decide whether the health care law says individuals in all states can be eligible for financial help from the government to buy health insurance, or if financial help is only available to those in states with state-run marketplaces.

64 Percent of Public Want Subsidies Available in All States

To address the ACA legislation matter, the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments this March in the King v. Burwell case, which addresses whether low- and moderate-income residents in the 37 states relying on the federal marketplace are eligible for tax credits to purchase insurance, or whether such assistance can only go to residents of states with their own state-run marketplaces.  

What will happen if the court is in favor of the change? More than 13 million individuals in potentially affected states could lose subsidies in 2016 for health insurance.

In KFF’s survey, 64 percent of the public said congress should pass a law making subsidies available in all states, rather than the Supreme Court limiting financial assistance to residents in states with state-based marketplaces.

Additionally, 59 percent of those surveyed in the states say they would like their state to act to operate its own exchange if the Supreme Court does indeed limit the financial assistance to eligible residents in states which currently have state-run Marketplaces.

Changes in the Affordable Care Act’s Future

If you’ve been watching the news lately, you would have recently seen that the Republican majority is now controlling both houses of Congress. But, what does this mean? The ACA will likely undergo changes over the next few years.

In fact, 31 percent of Republicans, Democrats, and independents believe the ACA will undergo major changes while 32 percent say it will only see minor changes. Twelve percent think the ACA will be repealed entirely, and 21 percent say they expect the law to stay how it currently is.

However, the public is generally divided on what they would like Congress to do next with ACA. The survey indicates about a third, or 32 percent, say they are in favor of repeal while 14 percent prefer the law be scaled back. Nineteen percent say they want the law to remain as it is and move forward, and 32 percent would like to see the law expanded.

About the Poll

The latest tracking poll was designed and analyzed by public opinion researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation and was conducted from January 15-21, 2015 among a nationally representative random digit dial telephone sample of 1,503 adults ages 18 and older. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish by landline (751) and cell phone (752). The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the full sample. For results based on other subgroups, the margin of sampling error may be higher.


As impactful as the King v. Burwell case could be to the ACA and its future, many are confused about the ACA legislation and few have an understanding of the case and its potential effects on health insurance. In fact, 56 percent of those surveyed had never heard of the case.

And with the Republican majority now both houses of Congress, the exact future of the ACA is unpredictable and 31 percent of those surveyed feel it will undergo major changes.

We want to hear from you -- are you confused about the ACA legislation and the recent King v. Burwell case? Comment below and let us know.

See these related articles to learn more about ACA legislation:

Survey source: KFF

Originally published on February 5, 2015. Last updated February 5, 2015.


Additional Resources

View All Resources