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Wilbert Jones helps local residents sign up for the Affordable Care Act, widely referred to as
Republican anti-Obamacare talking points are biting the dust on a daily basis as the law takes hold. Here's another one: When enrollments kept racking up and a grand total of 8 million people signed up, Republicans sniffed that most of them weren't uninsured, so the law wouldn't really help solve that problem. A few months later, Kaiser Family Foundation deflates that trial balloon. Nearly six in 10 of the people in their latest survey who now have Obamacare were previously uninsured, and "[m]ost of this group say they had been without coverage for at least two years."
“There has been considerable debate about how many people signing up for coverage in the new exchanges were uninsured. Our survey reveals that the majority of people who enrolled in the new exchanges were previously uninsured,” Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman said.
Pie chart showing 57 percent of people reporting they were previously uninsured,
Beyond that, this survey [pdf] shows a mixed response among Obamacare customers. The survey is reflecting people's perceptions and experience with the law, rather than data from insurers or states. It's meant to reflect what people think about the law rather than the statistics behind it, and that shows some interesting fault lines. For example, the law is more popular with people who are eligible to buy under the law—who don't have group coverage through their employers and are more likely to approve the law than the general public. They slightly approve of it, 47 to 43 percent, while the rest of the public still disapproves of it by an eight-point margin, 46 to 38 percent. There's also some residual ill-feeling about the law among the people who had their previous non-compliant plans cancelled. Among them, 57 percent say the law had a negative effect on their lives, while just 34 percent say it has benefitted them. That's about the same amount of people in the whole group of new enrollees that say they benefitted, which compares to 29 percent overall who say the effect has been negative. And there are a lot of people who don't know.

Affordability is still a major factor for people. Those who received subsidies to help pay their premiums are the most supportive—60 percent of them say the law has helped them and their families, but cost is still a huge concern: "Nearly half of those in ACA-compliant plans say they’re not confident they would be able to afford to pay for a major illness or injury, over four in ten say it is difficult to afford their monthly premiums, and over six in ten say they are worried that their premiums will become unaffordable in the future."

There's the Achilles' heel for the law, one that's existed from back when we were fighting so hard for Medicare expansion or a public option. The American healthcare system is insanely expensive to run, and the costs will always trickle down to the consumer. There are still people—even with insurance—who feel that coming up with their annual deductibles in the event of an emergency is going to be difficult, who are still having a hard time coming up with premium payments even with subsidies. They're certainly better off with insurance than without, but healthcare reform isn't done yet.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:16 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (19+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:16:07 AM PDT

  •  and surprising absolutely nobody (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GAS, Tonedevil, YaNevaNo, Mr Robert, MarcKyle64

    except maybe Republicans showing their 'shocked face', the U.S. healthcare system ranks last in the latest report of healthcare systems.

    Despite having the most expensive system in the world, the U.S. health system scored lower than 10 other countries: Australia, Canada, Germany, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K., which ranked No. 1.
    The 'best healthcare system in the world' lie ranks right up there with climate change denial on the sociopathic scale.

    Spin to follow...

    There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast.

    by puzzled on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:27:43 AM PDT

  •  that 40% is higher than I thought (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil

    I had thought most enrollees had no insurance and I find out that I am wrong. My biggest question is why only 8 million signed up out of a pool of 35 to 40 million that have no insurance. Will they enroll once they get hit by the IRS or are they the same people who never file so no worries?

    •  partly because (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil, TRPChicago

      some were put on medicaid when their states opted into medicaid,  some were in states (lots of somes) that didn't expand medicaid, are so poor they don't qualify for the subsidies but just over the limit for non-expanded medicaid, so they are out in the cold,   some were on COBRA, see the pie chart, just a few months from uninsured, and some were in other plans, potentially catastrophic only plans or something they thought wasn't as good as an exchange plan and they switched.  This also doesn't cover people up to age 26 who have been added to parent's plans.

      And then you have to remember how much bad information, out right lying, etc. existed to discourage people from signing up.

      The number who bought in was encouraging, above expectations.   Open enrollment starts again in a few short months, there will probably be another large group that gets on board.  More insurers plan to offer policies, so that may help with holding premiums in check and get better choices out in the market.

      The percentage of uninsured have dropped significantly.   This was a good start.

  •  Health care reform hasn't really started yet. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TRPChicago

    Health insurance reform is a different thing.  Not unimportant, but, ultimately, just the outer skin of the onion.  To bring costs down, we will have to do some actual health care reform.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 04:10:55 PM PDT

    •  I agree, but the ACA was a good first step. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac

      Over time the Affordable care act will show its weaknesses, in that people will wind up with polices that don't provide enough  coverage with premiums that are way too high. Eventually we will have to move on to single payer because that will be the only choice.

      "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die." --Senator Ted Kennedy

      by Blue Silent Majority on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 06:01:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's the step we go and that makes it important (0+ / 0-)

        It may even be the best step we could get.
        Let's just hope events don't conspire to stop the process cold. The country needs real health care reform.  I'd hate to see the door slam shut now that we've managed to nudge it open.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 06:14:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yes but how many were black? (0+ / 0-)

    As the republican party has taught us, black Americans (and brown Americans, and gay Americans, and non-Christian Americans) are not really Americans.  

    They are lazy slackers with no values and no work ethic simply living off the generosity of white America.  

    Therefore any ability to purchase insurance at a reasonable price does not count as actual insurance since (white) reasons.

    (/snark obvi)

  •  I started reading, and cruised through but about (0+ / 0-)

    the fifth paragraph I said to myself, "this is good, who wrote this?".

    I should have known.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 05:13:13 PM PDT

  •  Speaking English (not that Spanish is bad) (0+ / 0-)

    In clear language that the guy at the 7/11 can understand: According to neutral sources, you will save XXX on your own insurance and XXX on future national debt because people have to carry insurance now. What part of Obamacare don't you understand?

    •  Why the insurance companies have been guaranteed a (0+ / 0-)

      profit and the ability to still exercise control over what health care we get--that's what I don't understand. As long as profit-mongers have a good deal of control, we aren't going to bring down costs to the levels of other developed countries with better outcomes.

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