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61% Expect Health Care Costs to Go Up Under Obamacare

Favorable views of the national health care law have fallen to a new low for 2013, while the number of voters who expect the law to increase health care costs has risen to its highest level in over two-and-a-half years.

Just 36% of Likely U.S. Voters now have at least a somewhat favorable opinion of the health care law, down from the previous low of 38% a week ago. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 58% share at least a somewhat unfavorable view of the law, unchanged from the previous survey. These findings include 17% with a Very Favorable opinion of Obamacare and 46% with a Very Unfavorable one, the latter a high for the year. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Sixty-one percent (61%) predict that the cost of health care will go up under the new law. That’s up 10 points from a month ago and the highest level of pessimism since early March 2011. Only 17% think health care costs will go down because of the law, while 14% say they will stay about the same.

From the start of the debate that led to the passage of the law by Congress in March 2010, voters have cited cost as their biggest health care concern.

Millions of Americans reportedly are being forced to change their health insurance coverage because it does not meet the standards set by the new law and are having to buy more expensive policies in their place. But voters have said consistently and overwhelmingly that individuals should have the right to choose their own level of insurance based on what procedures they want covered and how much they want to spend.

Just 25% of voters believe the quality of health care will get better under Obamacare. Fifty-one percent (51%) think health care will get worse, the most negative view in just over a year. Eighteen percent (18%) expect it to stay the same.

Only 37% rate the U.S. health care system as good or excellent, but 82% think that highly of the health care they personally receive.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on November 23-24, 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.

Seventy-seven percent (77%) of voters think the health care law is at least somewhat likely to cost more than official estimates, with 56% who say it’s Very Likely to do so. Only 16% believe the law is not very or Not At All Likely to cost more than projected. This is consistent with voter attitudes all year.

Largely unchanged from views over the past couple years is the belief by 52% that the law will increase the federal budget deficit. Just 15% think it will decrease the deficit, while 20% say it will have no impact. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure.

Most Democrats continue to view the health care law favorably, while the majority of Republicans and unaffiliated voters share an unfavorable opinion of it. But just 34% of voters in President Obama’s party now have a Very Favorable opinion of the law, compared to 76% of GOP voters and 52% of unaffiliateds who view it Very Unfavorably.

Ninety-one percent (91%) of Republicans and 68% of unaffiliated voters predict that health care costs will go up as a result of the law, but just 31% of Democrats agree.

Even most Democrats, however, think the law is likely to cost more than official projections, although they don’t believe that anywhere near as strongly as the others do.

Fifty-one percent (51%) of the Political Class view the health care law Very Favorably, while 56% of Mainstream voters hold a Very Unfavorable opinion of it.

Only 35% of all voters describe Obamacare as good for America, and 55% favor repealing it.

Seventy-eight percent (78%) of voters with health insurance rate their current coverage as good or excellent.

Fifty-five percent (55%) of voters nationwide now give the president poor marks for his handling of issues related to health care, a new high for the year.

Voters rate health care second only to the economy in terms of importance to how they will vote in the next congressional election, and they now trust Republicans slightly more than Democrats to handle the health care issue.

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

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on November 23-24, 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.

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