The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that over half the public has an unfavorable view of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in July, up eight percentage points since last month, while the share viewing the law favorably held steady at just under four in ten. A solid majority continues to prefer that Congress work to improve the law rather than repeal and replace it. The uptick in negative views comes at a time when Americans report hearing more negative than positive things about the ACA in advertising and personal conversations, and when large shares of the public want leaders in Washington to pay more attention to other issues like the economy and jobs, the federal budget deficit, education, and immigration.There's also this finding, which shows just how effective the anti-Obamacare narratives have been with a traditional media spending more time on the political fight than on the substance of the law.
Previous tracking polls have found that misperceptions about the ACA are common among the public, and more than four years after the law’s passage this continues to be the case. The July poll finds that fewer than four in ten Americans (37 percent) are aware that people who got new health insurance under the ACA had a choice between private health plans, while about a quarter (26 percent) think the newly insured were enrolled in a single government plan and about four in ten (38 percent) say they don’t know enough to answer the question.That's just pathetic at this point, and is largely the fault of a traditional media that has completely failed in telling the part of the story that is most relevant to people's lives: how the bill works, what it does—and doesn't—do, and what they can expect if they participate. For what it's worth, people more open to the law understand it better; "Republicans (34 percent) are less likely than Democrats (43 percent) to say that enrollees had a choice of private health plans." But this lack of understanding is a barrier to people who need the law signing up: "Other groups that are less likely to be aware of this fact include those with an unfavorable view of the law (32 percent), self-described conservatives (31 percent), people ages 65 and older (29 percent), and the uninsured (29 percent)."
The major findings of all the previous monthly Kaiser polls stand. The American public is sick to death of hearing about Obamacare and want the Congress to address this bill in good faith and fix the things that need to be fixed, but to focus on the things that are more critical to the country right now.