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Opinion of Obamacare Drops Among Middle Income Families

College Grads, Democrats More Likely to See Positive Impact of Health Care Law on CountryFor a long time Democrats banked on the fact that once people started directly experiencing the planned benefits of the Affordable Care Act they would come to like it, but that hasn’t happened. If anything the implementation of the law seems to have just hardened the divide.

According to Pew Research, 52 percent of the public disapproves of the law while 44 percent approves of it. A level of support remarkably consistent across almost all polls for the past few years.

While the number of people who say they have been helped by the law has gone up slightly since it was implemented, the number of people who say they have been hurt by the law has increased at basically the same rate.

Looking at the economic breakdown is particularly interesting and would seem to imply people aren’t happy with the new private insurance exchanges.

While a plurality of all income levels think the law has had a mostly negative impact on the country, the ratio of positive/negative improved noticeable since a year ago among families making over $75,000 and families making less than $30,000. Yet it actually got worse in the middle income bracket.

Higher income people tend to have employer provided coverage. They likely saw little change which probably relieved their concerns and improved their impression of the law. Families under $30,000 are more likely to have been part of the Medicaid expansion, which is simple to understand and popular. But families in the middle are most likely to have been forced to use the complicated exchanges with often stingy coverage. This group was also most likely to have seen premium increases or narrower networks as a result of the implementation.

The section built on mandating middle class people to spend hours every year to buy private insurance through a complicated system remains a fundamental flaw of the law.

The law is unpopular and will likely be unpopular for years. Focusing on the Medicaid expansion, which has always been popular and does seem to improve people’s opinion about the law, is probably the best strategy Democrats have.

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Opinion of Obamacare Drops Among Middle Income Families

College Grads, Democrats More Likely to See Positive Impact of Health Care Law on CountryFor a long time Democrats banked on the fact that once people started directly experiencing the planned benefits of the Affordable Care Act they would come to like it, but that hasn’t happened. If anything the implementation of the law seems to have just hardened the divide.

According to Pew Research, 52 percent of the public disapproves of the law while 44 percent approves of it. A level of support remarkably consistent across almost all polls for the past few years.

While the number of people who say they have been helped by the law has gone up slightly since it was implemented, the number of people who say they have been hurt by the law has increased at basically the same rate.

Looking at the economic breakdown is particularly interesting and would seem to imply people aren’t happy with the new private insurance exchanges.

While a plurality of all income levels think the law has had a mostly negative impact on the country, the ratio of positive/negative improved noticeable since a year ago among families making over $75,000 and families making less than $30,000. Yet it actually got worse in the middle income bracket.

Higher income people tend to have employer provided coverage. They likely saw little change which probably relieved their concerns and improved their impression of the law. Families under $30,000 are more likely to have been part of the Medicaid expansion, which is simple to understand and popular. But families in the middle are most likely to have been forced to use the complicated exchanges with often stingy coverage. This group was also most likely to have seen premium increases or narrower networks as a result of the implementation.

The section built on mandating middle class people to spend hours every year to buy private insurance through a complicated system remains a fundamental flaw of the law.

The law is unpopular and will likely be unpopular for years. Focusing on the Medicaid expansion, which has always been popular and does seem to improve people’s opinion about the law, is probably the best strategy Democrats have.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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