Friday, March 6, 2015

ACA Attitudes by Insurance Status; Racial Element to ACA Attitudes

Two brief notices from this week:

YouGov reports comparisons from its polls between newly insured Americans and those who remain uninsured. The former group supports Obamacare more than does the latter (via Huffpost/Pollster).

In conjunction with this week's Supreme Court oral arguments on Obamacare federal/state exchanges and eligibility for tax-credit subsidies, Amanda Marcotte reviews research.from last year suggesting a racial aspect to attitudes toward the Affordable Care Act.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

New York Times ACA Enrollment Charts

This New York Times piece includes several charts displaying how many people have signed up for health insurance in response to the ACA, under which specific programs, etc.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Greenberg-Ayres Battleground Poll Probes ACA "Opposition From the Left" with Novel Question-Wording

I've just finished listening to a Political Wire podcast, posted yesterday, in which Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg discusses a recent poll he conducted with Republican pollster Whit Ayres in states with "battleground" U.S. Senate races (almost certainly a more GOP-friendly electorate than is the case nationally) and the implications of the poll findings for the upcoming November elections.

Roughly between the 15:00-20:00 minute points of the interview, Greenberg discusses the portion of the poll pertaining to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), particularly regarding opposition to the law from the political left. Opposition from the left is not a new issue, as I (and other observers, such as Mark Blumenthal) have discussed it frequently in the past (herehere, here, and here).

Pollsters' attempts to assess reasons for opposition to the ACA have taken various forms. CNN/Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) has used the wording "Do you oppose that bill because you think its approach toward health care is too liberal, or because you think its approach toward health care is not liberal enough?" Other pollsters have asked whether respondents who oppose the ACA do so because it goes "too far" or "doesn't go far enough" (Ipsos-McClatchy) or because it involves too much or too little government entanglement with health care (Public Policy Polling).

Back in 2009, Blumenthal quoted Megan McArdle to the effect that the too-far/not-far-enough wording was susceptible to multiple interpretations. The phrase "not going far enough," McArdle argued, could have either a liberal, pro-government health care interpretation (i.e., the ACA didn't go far enough in expanding Medicare or creating a government single-payer system), or a conservative/libertarian interpretation (i.e., the ACA didn't go far enough in cutting back government subsidies of health care or means-testing programs).

This is where Greenberg and Ayres come in. To overcome the inherent lack of clarity in previously used terms such as "too far," these pollsters adopted the following wording (which Greenberg says was developed by Ayres) in their recent survey, to ask respondents who opposed the ACA why they did so. Opponents of the law were given the following two choices:

I'm opposed because it's a big government solution that we cannot afford. 

I'm opposed because you still have to buy private insurance and I'd prefer a single-payer, government-run system like Canada.

In response to the initial ACA question on the Greenberg-Ayres poll ("Do you support or oppose the health care reform law that passed in 2010, also known as the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare?"), more respondents expressed opposition (54%) than supported it (42%). However, among the ACA opponents, 36% chose the anti-insurance company, pro-single payer option (about evenly divided between "strongly" and "somewhat" advocating that view).

(In the interview, Greenberg states that "one-fifth of the opponents are opposed because it's not a government-run, Canadian system." Perhaps he was referring only to the respondents who strongly endorsed the single-payer option.)

Greenberg discusses additional interesting issues in the interview besides the ACA, but naturally given the focus on this blog, the ACA question-wording was what I seized upon.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summary of ACA Public Opinion Webinar

I participated yesterday in the Affordable Care Act public opinion webinar, which I previewed in my July 2 post (below). The presenter, Mollyann Brodie, Ph.D., of the Kaiser Family Foundation, first led participants through an overview of the ACA itself, before moving on to the public opinion aspects. Two of her main themes were how heavily attitudes toward the ACA appeared to be colored by general partisanship, and how public awareness of many ACA provisions remains rather low. As an example of the latter, Brodie talked about how, under the ACA's preventative health section, women cannot be charged a co-pay for a mammogram. Yet, many women may not associate the new policy with Obamacare. On the survey-research side, the main thing I learned was that, later in 2014 and into 2015, large government surveys such as the National Health Interview Survey will begin tracking the rate of health-insurance coverage in the nation. Thus far, organizations such as Gallup and RAND have been providing such estimates. Click here for information on purchasing a recording of the webinar.


Brodie's evidence of partisan polarization in views toward the ACA was pretty compelling, in my view. One apparent exception to the trend, however, comes from responses in a recent Commonwealth Fund survey, among those individuals with newly acquired health insurance. Seventy-four percent of self-identified Republicans expressed satisfaction with their new health plans, only somewhat below the percentages of Independents (82%) and Democrats (85%) reporting satisfaction (see Exhibit 12 of the linked document).

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Upcoming Webinar on ACA Public Opinion

The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) will be putting on a webinar entitled "Public Opinion on the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a Obamacare) and Measuring Early Views and Experiences During Its Implementation." The webinar, to be led by Mollyann Brodie, PhD, of the Kaiser Family Foundation, will be held on Wednesday, July 23, 2014, from 12:00-1:30 p.m. CDT. There is a sliding fee scale to register for the webinar based on professional/student status and AAPOR membership. A recording of the webinar will be available for purchase afterwards.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Two Summations of Public Opinion on Obamacare

With today being the deadline date for uninsured people to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, two sources have sought to summarize the state of public opinion toward the law at this point in time (via HuffPost/Pollster).
  • The Glover Park Group, a PR firm whose consultants include Democratic-affiliated spokespersons and operatives such as Carter Eskew, Joe Lockhart, and Dee Dee Myers, has put out this slideshow.
  • Meanwhile, Paul Steinhauser offers his synopsis in an article entitled "Five Things Polling Tells Us About Obamacare."