Broad Skepticism on Health Care Law


With the approach of the new year, when health insurance policies under President Obama’s new health care law are set to begin, there is wide skepticism among both the insured and uninsured about how the law will affect them and the nation as a whole, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll.

The poll found that just one-third of uninsured Americans expect the law, the Affordable Care Act, to improve the nation’s health care system, while the same proportion think the law will help them personally, according to the poll.

Overall, there is no consensus among uninsured Americans on how the health care system will fare once the law takes effect. While one-third expect improvement, two-thirds anticipate either a worsening or no difference at all.

“It will hurt everybody in the long run,” said Cat Ping, 55, of Indianapolis in a follow-up interview. Ms. Ping, who does not have insurance, added: “I don’t care how they spin it, Obamacare is not affordable. It’s wrecking our total economy.”

On the whole, uninsured Americans expect to be personally affected by the Affordable Care Act more so than all adults nationwide. Among all adults, nearly half think the law will not affect them at all, while among uninsured adults, just over one-quarter say that. And while a nearly 4 in 10 plurality of uninsured Americans think the health care law will hurt them personally, they are twice as likely as the general public to say the law will help them.

“I’m for universal health care, and this is a steppingstone in the right direction, “ said Don Sears, 58, of Syracuse, N.Y. Mr. Sears, who has had health insurance on and off throughout the years, is currently unemployed and does not have insurance. He is looking forward to that changing, he said, because “with Obamacare I will be able to get health care” that is affordable.

The New York Times/CBS News poll was conducted among 1,000 adults nationwide by telephone on Dec. 5-8, 2013, and among 702 uninsured adults between Dec. 4-15. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points among the general population and plus or minus five percentage points among the uninsured sample. Complete results of the survey will be available tonight at 6:30 p.m. on


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