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53% Expect Health System To Get Worse Under Obamacare

Monday, March 17, 2014

Voters give the overall U.S. health care system mixed reviews five months into Obamacare, although most still have high praise for the care they personally receive. A majority continues to expect the health care system to get worse under the new law.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 32% of Likely U.S. Voters now rate the nation’s health care system as good or excellent, while just as many (32%) describe it as poor. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Positive views of the health care system are consistent with surveys since the first of the year, while the number who grade the system poorly has hovered around the 30% mark since last May. A year ago, 40% gave the system good or excellent marks, and only 24% rated it as poor.

Just 30% expect the president’s health care law to make the health care system better, down a point from the previous two surveys, but in line with findings since the rollout of the law began last fall. Fifty-three percent (53%) expect the health care system to get worse under Obamacare, a finding that has ranged from 48% to 61% in regular surveys since late 2012. Ten percent (10%) now think the health care system will remain about the same.

But 80% of voters continue to rate the health care they personally receive as good or excellent, up three points from February. Only four percent (4%) describe the care they receive as poor, consistent with regular surveying for over two years.

Nearly 90% of voters say they have health insurance, and 79% rate that coverage as good or excellent. Positive assessments have run from the low 70s to the low 80s in regular surveys since June 2010. Just three percent (3%) view their health insurance coverage as poor, essentially unchanged during that same time period.

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.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on March 14-15, 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.

Obamacare remains unpopular with voters who still expect it to drive up costs and hurt the quality of health care.

Republicans are more critical of the U.S. health care system than Democrats and unaffiliated voters are. Fifty-one percent (51%) of Democrats think the system will get better under the new health care law, while 84% of GOP voters and 54% of unaffiliateds predict that it will get worse.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of married voters believe the health care system is likely to get worse under the new law, a view shared by 46% of unmarried voters.

Voters 65 and older are the most enthusiastic about the quality of the health care they now receive. Younger voters are less likely than their elders to believe Obamacare will make the system worse but are no more optimistic than those 40 and over that it will improve things.

Eighty-five percent (85%) of voters with health insurance rate the health care coverage they receive as good or excellent, compared to just 38% of those without insurance. 

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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