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33% Say They’ve Been Personally Hurt by Health Care Law

Monday, March 03, 2014

One-in-three U.S. voters now says his or her health insurance coverage has changed as a result of Obamacare, and the same number say the new national health care law had a negative personal impact on them. 

Forty percent (40%) of Likely U.S. Voters have at least a somewhat favorable opinion of the health care law, while 56% regard it unfavorably, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. This includes 16% who view the law Very Favorably and 41% who have a Very Unfavorable opinion of it. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Favorable opinions of the law are down from 45% two weeks ago and are the lowest measured since late December. Unfavorables hit an all-time high of 58% in mid-November. Favorables fell to a record low of 36% in that same survey.

Thirty-three percent (33%) now say their insurance coverage has changed because of the new law, up a point from January  and the highest finding since last July.

Seventy-four percent (74%) of those who have health insurance rate their coverage as good or excellent.

Just 14% of all voters now say they personally have been helped by the law, down from 16% in January. Thirty-three percent (33%) say they have been hurt by the law, up from 29% earlier this year and the highest negative rating since April 2013. Fifty percent (50%) say it has had no impact on them.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on February 28 – March 1, 2014 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

More voters than ever predict the health care law is likely to cost more than projected, and most continue to believe the law will cost them more personally, too.

Voters have said in surveys for years that costs are their number one health care concern. Fifty-eight percent (58%) believe increased free market competition will do more to reduce those costs, while just 24% think more government regulations will be a better cost-reducer. Eighteen percent (18%) are not sure. This is generally in line with surveys over the past year.

Just 33% now believe having the federal government establish a single set of standards and regulations will do more to reduce health care costs than letting states compete to determine the most effective standards and guidelines. That’s down from January’s high of 37% but is in line with prior findings. Just over half (51%) still think letting states compete is a better way to reduce costs, showing no change from January. Sixteen percent (16%) are undecided.

Forty-seven percent (47%) of Republican voters say they have been personally hurt by Obamacare, compared to 19% of Democrats and 35% of voters not affiliated with either party. Most Democrats (58%) and a plurality (49%) of unaffiliateds say the law has had no impact on them. Republicans are also more likely than the others to say their insurance has changed as a result of the law.

Seventy-one percent (71%) of Democrats have a favorable opinion of the health care law. Eighty-five percent (85%) of Republicans and 66% of unaffiliateds view it unfavorably. Voters in President Obama's party are much stronger believers than the others that more federal government involvement in the marketplace is a better way to reduce health care costs.

Most voters who consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement (62%) say they’ve been personally hurt by Obamacare. A majority of those not in the grassroots movement (54%) say the law has had no impact on them personally.

Voters who Strongly Disapprove of Obama’s job performance are far more likely than other voters to say they’ve been personally hurt by the law. Most voters who Strongly Approve of the president’s performance say the law hasn’t impacted them personally.

Voters remain almost evenly divided over the new government requirement that every American must have health insurance, while support for a single-payer government-run health care system is at its highest level in over a year.

Voters continue to strongly support having a variety of choices when it comes to purchasing health insurance.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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