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52% Expect Obamacare to Make Health Care System Worse

Monday, October 28, 2013

Voters remain overwhelmingly positive about the health care they receive but are less enthusiastic about the overall health care system. But just over half also continue to believe the health care system will get worse under the new national health care law.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 82% of Likely U.S. Voters rate the overall quality of the health care they now receive as good or excellent. Just four percent (4%) describe that health care as poor. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Only 37%, however, rate the U.S. health care system itself as good or excellent. Thirty percent (30%) view the system as poor.

These views have changed little in the past several months. But for the second month in a row, 30% of voters think the health care system is likely to get better as a result of Obamacare. That’s up eight points from August and the most positive view to date. But most voters (52%) still believe the system will get worse under the new law, while six percent (6%) expect it to stay about the same. Twelve percent (12%) are undecided.

Seventy-eight percent (78%) of voters with health insurance rate their current coverage as good or excellent, also consistent with past surveying. Only four percent (4%) regard their health insurance coverage as poor.

Voters with health insurance are twice as likely as those without it to rate the health care they receive as good or excellent. Those who are not insured are also much more critical of the overall health care system.

One-out-of-four voters (25%) say their health insurance coverage has changed as a result of the health care law. Two percent (2%) have signed up successfully for health insurance through the health exchange websites created by the new law, but given the problems those websites are having, 51% favor delaying the requirement that every American have health insurance by January 1.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on October 26-27, 2013 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.

Voters are now almost evenly divided in their views of the national health care law which includes the mandate and provides for the creation of the health insurance exchanges. Perceptions of the law improved during the government shutdown.

Most Democrats (54%) still believe the U.S. health care system will get better under Obamacare. Eighty-six percent (86%) of Republicans and 61% of voters not affiliated with either major party expect the system to get worse.

But Republicans and unaffiliated voters are more likely than Democrats to give the current health care system poor marks. Democrats are only slightly less likely than the others to have health insurance now.

Those age 40 and over are more likely than younger voters to give excellent marks both to their health insurance coverage and the quality of care they now receive. These older voters also believe more strongly that the health care system is going to get worse under the new law.

Ninety-four percent (94%) of Tea Party voters think the system will get worse, compared to 46% of voters who are not affiliated with the movement.

Voters who consider the quality of the health care they now receive as poor tend to think Obamacare will make the system better. Those who give positive marks to their current care are more likely to expect the health care system to get worse.

Fifty percent (50%) of Americans say they are paying more for health care than they were last year, but nearly as many (48%) think the private sector, not the federal government, is the way to keep those costs down.

Fewer Americans, however, say they are paying more for drugs these days. The number who say they’ve postponed a medical procedure due to cost is also down from past years.

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

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