That the Affordable Care Act has so far fallen well short of its primary goal of providing coverage for most of the nation's 48 million uninsured has become increasingly clear as the sign-up data has trickled out.
So far, 3 million people have signed up for Obamacare, less than half of the target number of 7 million enrollees estimated by the Congressional Budget Office.
But perhaps a more damning measure of how Obamacare has failed lies in the opinions of the uninsured themselves.
A tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that the ranks of the uninsured, once fairly optimistic about Obamacare, have in recent months soured on the healthcare law.
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Back in July of 2010, just a few months after the legislation was passed and signed into law by U.S. President Barack Obama, 57% of uninsured Americans held a favorable view of the ACA.
Even as recently as September of 2012, 51% of the uninsured viewed Obamacare favorably, and just 30% unfavorably.
But since the launch of Obamacare in October, the uninsured have completely reversed their opinion of the law. As of January, 47% view Obamacare unfavorably, and just 24% view it favorably.
And the dissatisfaction of the uninsured with Obamacare depicted in the Kaiser poll is also reflected in real-world numbers – according to a McKinsey & Co. study, just 11% of the people who have signed up for Obamacare were previously uninsured.
It's not hard to see how Obamacare failed to win over the uninsured.
Part of the problem no doubt had to do with the rocky launch of the Obamacare website, where people shop for health insurance plans. Many people couldn't access the site for weeks, and the negative publicity was relentless.
The uninsured also may have been unpleasantly surprised by the terms of the healthcare plans they did manage to find.
While the insurance premiums of the Obamacare plans are slightly cheaper on average than even employer-sponsored plans, the deductibles are about 42% higher. The steep increase in out-of-pocket costs also could have alienated a large number of the uninsured.
Problems getting the uninsured on board haven't been the only problem with enrollment in Obamacare. The demographics of those who have signed up have also strayed far from expectations. If this situation doesn't change by the end of the enrollment period March 30,
the entire law could be jeopardized…
Has #Obamacare affected you, your family, or people that you know? Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the healthcare law? Let us know on Twitter: @moneymorning.
- Kaiser Health News:
Health Law Is a Tough Sell to Uninsured
About the Author
David Zeiler, Associate Editor for Money Morning at Money Map Press, has been a journalist for more than 35 years, including 18 spent at The Baltimore Sun. He has worked as a writer, editor, and page designer at different times in his career. He's interviewed a number of well-known personalities - ranging from punk rock icon Joey Ramone to Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Over the course of his journalistic career, Dave has covered many diverse subjects. Since arriving at Money Morning in 2011, he has focused primarily on technology. He's an expert on both Apple and cryptocurrencies. He started writing about Apple for The Sun in the mid-1990s, and had an Apple blog on The Sun's web site from 2007-2009. Dave's been writing about Bitcoin since 2011 - long before most people had even heard of it. He even mined it for a short time.
Dave has a BA in English and Mass Communications from Loyola University Maryland.