Americans are becoming less divided about the Affordable Care Act, as the gap between favorable and unfavorable views of the law has narrowed among both the general public and the uninsured, a new survey finds.

Forty-six percent of the public now hold an unfavorable view of the law, while 38% hold a favorable view of it, the Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds. The eight-point gap is roughly half the gap seen in November and January after the troubled launch of Healthcare.gov, and is closer to the split recorded earlier last year, Kaiser says.

Among the uninsured, 45% now hold an unfavorable view of the law and 37% hold a favorable view.

In these final days of the first ACA open enrollment period, the poll finds a third (34%) of the uninsured remain unaware of the law's requirement that nearly all Americans obtain health insurance or pay a fine, and about six in 10 (61%) don’t know that the end of March is the deadline to sign up for coverage. 

When reminded of the mandate and deadline, half say they plan to remain uninsured, four in 10 plan to obtain coverage and one in 10 are unsure.

Slightly more than half of the public (53%) also say they are tired of the debate about the ACA and want the country to focus more on other issues, while about four in 10 (42%) say it’s important for the country to continue the debate.

Not surprisingly, Democrats and those with a favorable view of the law are more likely to say they’re tired of hearing about the debate, while Republicans and those who view the law unfavorably are more evenly split.  (Among Republicans, 47% say they are tired of the debate, and 49% say it is important it should continue.)

Regardless, the American  public decisively favors keeping the law in place and working to improve it (49%) or keeping it as is (10%), rather than replacing it with a Republican-sponsored alternative (11%) or repealing it outright (18%).

The survey was designed and analyzed by public opinion researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation and was conducted from March 11-17.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Employee Benefit Adviser content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access