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Gallup Poll: Views of Affordable Care Act Remain Steady

Americans no more familiar with the law than they were in August (October 30)

Despite the occurrence of major technical glitches with the health care exchange Web site in the weeks since it went live, Americans’ assessments of the future effect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) have not changed much since August, according to the latest Gallup poll. Americans remain more likely to say the law will make the U.S. health care situation and their family’s health care situation worse rather than better. Roughly one in three Americans still believe that the law will not make much difference for their family.

Americans are now slightly more likely to say they are “very familiar” with the PPACA than they were in August, but the percentage who say they are “somewhat familiar” with the law has declined concomitantly. As a result, the 68% of Americans who are at least somewhat familiar with the health care law is unchanged from August.

Americans’ approval of the PPACA has also been relatively steady — varying between 41% and 45% — in four measures taken over the past 4 months. Gallup surveys conducted Oct. 18–20 and Oct. 26–28 show a smaller gap between the percentage who disapprove and the percentage who approve compared with last summer. This reinforces the finding Gallup has previously reported that the federal shutdown and health exchange problems to date have not caused Americans to have a more negative view of the PPACA. Still, Americans remain slightly more likely to disapprove than approve of the health care law overall.

According to Gallup, it appears that Americans’ views on the PPACA are relatively fixed at the moment, leaving open the question of whether support will rise once the law’s provisions are fully implemented and more uninsured Americans get health insurance.

Results for the new poll were based on telephone interviews conducted Oct. 26–28, 2013, with a random sample of 1,530 adults, aged 18 years and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

Source: Gallup; October 30, 2013.

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