The Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to be a significant issue for the American workforce. A new Bankrate.com poll found a strong divide among Americans about whether to repeal the ACA. However, many Americans are still uninformed about the ACA, with recent surveys finding the majority are confused about how the ACA will influence their insurance benefits and the healthcare industry, as well as aspects of the ACA itself. Yet one thing remains certain: although the federal government has since reopened, the consequences of it are sure to reach into the future.
The US remains divided
The Bankrate.com survey, which was conducted by Princeton Data Source, asked 1,003 adults between Sept. 19-22 about their feelings regarding the ACA. It found political party affiliation, geographic region and age group affected how Americans felt about the healthcare reform law.
In terms of party affiliation, 79 percent of Republicans, 49 percent of Independents and 26 percent of Democrats said they would vote to repeal the ACA. With 55 percent, Americans in the Midwest were more in favor of repealing the law than keeping it. In the Northeast, only 38 percent voted the same. Americans living in rural areas were also more likely to vote against the ACA, as 64 percent said they would like the law to be canceled. Only 31 percent of urban residents and 48 percent of suburban Americans want it repealed.
The study suggested the health insurance exchanges may help Americans receive more information about healthcare reform and clear up misconceptions about the legislation that may be behind the strong divide.
Another study noted ongoing confusion about healthcare reform. According to NBC News, the Kaiser Family Foundation and NBC surveyed 1,503 adults between Sept. 12-18 regarding their enthusiasm about healthcare reform. NBC News reported more than half said they were concerned about how the ACA will affect them, while only 24 percent said they were excited about the law.
The survey noted more than half said they are unsure if they can afford healthcare under the ACA. In an interview with NBC News, Earle Griffis, a commercial fisherman in Florida, said he knows he doesn’t have enough information about the ACA, but he also knows he won’t be able to to pay the penalty under the individual mandate.
Americans show confusion over healthcare reform
In fact, a recent survey found many Americans don’t understand Obamacare and the ACA are one in the same. According to The Atlantic, comedy show Jimmy Kimmel Live asked Americans on the street if they were in favor of Obamacare or the ACA. The majority said they were against Obamacare and in favor of the ACA, despite the fact that the two terms refer to the same law.
Agree about shutdown
Americans continue to be on the fence over the ACA and how it will affect their insurance benefits and government finance. However, one thing many Americans have been able to agree on is their frustration over the government shutdown due to the ACA’s inclusion in the budget. According to CBS DC, Americans across the country protested the shutdown and urged Congress to set their differences aside and come to an agreement. Although the federal government is up and running once more, the ACA’s inclusion in the shutdown caused more Americans to say Congress should appeal the law compared to one year ago. According to the Bankrate.com poll, 31 percent of Americans are more adverse to the ACA than they were a year ago.
In fact, during his interview with NBC News Bryan Neba, a 25-year-old from Idaho, said he supports the ACA but is unsure whether the government can afford it.
“I want it to be feasible,” Neba said. “I don’t want the government to go broke.”