It’s been almost five years since the passage of the Affordable Care Act and its promise to “bend the cost curve downward” for Americans and their health care. More than five years have passed since the technical start of the recovery and the Obama administration’s bragging about jobs and economic expansion. The two combined should produce noticeable improvement in the lives of Americans, yes? According to the latest CBS News poll, no (via Jeff Dunetz):
Fifty-two percent of Americans say they find basic medical care affordable, but that’s down from 61 percent last December. Today, for 46 percent of Americans, paying for medical care is a hardship, up 10 points.
Similarly, just over half of Americans are at least somewhat satisfied with their health care costs, while 43 percent are dissatisfied.
Americans are feeling the cost of their health care. Fifty-two percent say the amount of money they pay for out-of-pocket health care costs — those not covered by insurance — has gone up over the past few years, including a third who say those costs have gone up a lot.
Most attribute the rise of out-of-pocket costs to more expensive medical treatment, rather than an increase in the amount of treatment they are receiving.
The cost increase is not coming from increased access to care, either. Only 14% of those responding say they are accessing more treatment than before. For 74% of respondents, health care is just more expensive. More now are less willing to see a doctor, and 78% of those choose to avoid it because of cost alone.
Satisfaction with health care has dropped over the last five years, too. Those somewhat or very satisfied has gone from 78% in September 2009 to 69% in this poll. Dissatisfaction over the quality of care has risen from 18% to 28%.
Not surprisingly, the law that was supposed to solve all of those problems is getting less and less popular. ObamaCare now only gets a 36/55 approval rating, down from 41/51 in September and 41/53 in March. The drop comes despite considerable administration bragging about supposed enrollment successes in the spring, and a relatively trouble-free open enrollment period underway now, at least on the consumer side of the exchanges. As more employers dump their coverage and force their workers into the ObamaCare exchanges, expect those numbers to get even lower.