The headline report for the new AP poll focuses on the erosion of coverage for Americans who already had insurance — and that may understate the damage this poll shows. The survey shows a rapid increase in disapproval over the handling of ObamaCare, but more importantly shows that the impact of the incompetence extends far beyond the people in the individual markets:
Americans who already have health insurance are blaming President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul for their rising premiums and deductibles, and overall 3 in 4 say the rollout of coverage for the uninsured has gone poorly.
An Associated Press-GfK poll finds that health care remains politically charged going into next year’s congressional elections. Keeping the refurbished HealthCare.gov website running smoothly is just one of Obama’s challenges, maybe not the biggest.
The poll found a striking level of unease about the law among people who have health insurance and aren’t looking for any more government help. Those are the 85 percent of Americans who the White House says don’t have to be worried about the president’s historic push to expand coverage for the uninsured.
In the survey, nearly half of those with job-based or other private coverage say their policies will be changing next year — mostly for the worse. Nearly 4 in 5 (77 percent) blame the changes on the Affordable Care Act, even though the trend toward leaner coverage predates the law’s passage.
How has the law impacted people who get either private or job-based health-care coverage? Those two categories comprise two-thirds of respondents in this survey, but only 6% had individual-market coverage. If the ObamaCare changes only impacted those individual markets, we should expect to see no more than 10% or so of the combined private/jobs-based covered respondents reporting an impact to their own situation. Instead, we see this:
Almost 70% of all people in this subset are seeing their premiums increase, and almost 60% are seeing deductibles and co-pays rising as well. Eighteen percent are getting coverage restrictions, and 14% are losing spousal coverage. Only 21% are getting more coverage of any kind.
Now, this could be happening in any given year as insurers find ways to save money, but this year insurers have had a whole lot more risk forced on them by the new law. Consumers aren’t fooled, either. More than three-quarters blame ObamaCare, and eight-five percent are moderately or very sure that the above changes are in response to the ObamaCare law, with 61% being “extremely/very sure” of it. That’s as close to consensus as we see in American politics.
Small wonder that support for ObamaCare has dropped to its lowest level ever in the AP/GfK series at 27%. Opposition has jumped six points since early October to 44%, which is still not near the late 2010 high of 52%, but the 34% strongly opposing it is the highest since February 2012. The momentum is going the wrong way for Democrats, and the underlying causes producing that momentum have little to do with websites.
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