Public Opinion

The Healthy, the White, and the 50-Plus Are Most Likely to Oppose Obamacare


The Affordable Care Act isn’t popular. We know that from several polls, which confirm repeatedly that more Americans don’t like the Obamacare legislation than like it. That said, we’ve had few details on how Obamacare fans and foes split by income, race, or their current health and insurance circumstances.

Today the Urban Institute published some new data that start to answer those questions. The analysis is based on a survey of almost 8,000 American adults aged 18 to 64—too young to qualify for Medicare. The poll was taken in September, before the meltdown of healthcare.gov.

Overall, 28 percent had a favorable view of the law, and about 41 percent had an unfavorable view. (The rest had no opinion.) It’s worth noting that not all who view the law negatively come from the Right—some critics on the Left oppose the ACA because it doesn’t go far enough in reforming the health system. Here’s what the Urban Institute found:

The Urban Institute notes that big portions of the public reported no opinion of the law and that they tend to be “the groups most likely to benefit,” including the less healthy, the uninsured, low-income households, minorities, and young people.

But out of the starting gate, the ACA faced a wary response, even from Americans poised to benefit:

“Large proportions of uninsured adults, particularly whites and middle-income adults, were more likely to have an unfavorable than a favorable opinion of the law,” according to the Urban Institute report. And people in income brackets that would qualify them for subsidized coverage “expressed only weak support for it and were more likely to have no opinion than to have a favorable view.”

John_tozzi
Tozzi is a reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek in New York.

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