Despite Enrollment Success, Healthcare Law Still Unpopular

Andrew Dugan, Gallup, May 29, 2014

Although the Obama administration is boasting higher-than-expected enrollment for the Affordable Care Act, Americans’ attitudes toward the healthcare law have changed only marginally since the open enrollment period ended for 2014. A steady 43% of Americans approve of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” while a majority continue to disapprove of it, roughly where sentiment was before the enrollment window officially closed on March 31.

These data are based on interviews with 2,538 Americans in a May 21-25 Gallup poll.


Fewer than four in 10 adults (37%) say the law will ultimately make the healthcare situation better in the U.S., consistent with past measures. A plurality of Americans (44%) say it will make things worse, and another 16% say it won’t make much of a difference.

Blacks Most Approving of Law, Whites Least

Approval of the healthcare law is intimately tied to a┬áperson’s politics, with 79% of Democrats approving versus 8% of Republicans. Race and ethnicity also play some role in approval of the Affordable Care Act. Non-Hispanic white Americans are, by far, the least supportive of the law, with 35% approving. By contrast, 76% of black Americans approve of the law, while less than a fifth disapprove. Meanwhile, 57% of Hispanics–a group intently targeted by the law–approve, and one-third disapprove.

The Obama administration made a concerted effort to try to enroll Hispanics, the least likely of the three major racial/ethnic groups to report having health insurance, with President Barack Obama appearing on two Spanish-language television networks earlier this year to discuss the issue.

Black Americans are also most likely to see the law as making the healthcare situation in the U.S. better, with 64% saying so. Lesser shares of Hispanics (41%) and whites (31%) believe the law will improve the U.S. healthcare situation.


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