Americans Losing Faith in Obamacare

New polls suggest it's not just tech glitches endangering the health-reform law, but also a crisis of confidence

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Brooks Kraft / Corbis

President Barack Obama speaks about the Affordable Care Act from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington on Oct. 21, 2013.

The recent government shutdown may have distracted some Americans from the bungled rollout of Obamacare, but a new Pew survey shows many people are well aware of just how bad things are for the law’s new insurance websites. Forty-six percent of Americans polled on Oct. 9 to 13, while the shutdown was in full swing, said the Affordable Care Act’s online insurance exchanges were working “not too well” or “not working at all.”

While about 41% of Americans approve of the ACA, according to Pew, negative public perception of the exchanges could hinder the administration’s plan to enroll 7 million people in private health plans through the exchanges by the end of 2014. Before the error-riddled launch on Oct. 1, the White House promised the exchanges would be easy-to-use tools, allowing consumers to compare and buy insurance policies in the same way they book travel or buy books online. The harder the exchange websites are to use — or the harder consumers think they are to use — the less likely people are to log on or sign up. These persistent problems mean many of those who have enrolled so far have done so only after making multiple attempts to navigate slow and crash-prone websites.

(MORE: Obama: Government ‘Working Overtime’ to Fix Health-Law Problems)

While President Obama sought to reassure the public in a speech on Monday that exchange-website malfunctions were being fixed, a separate poll found that many believe technical problems plaguing the websites may indicate that the entire law is broken. A Washington Post–ABC News poll conducted Oct 17 to 20 and released Oct. 21 found that 56% of those surveyed believed the “website glitches” are “part of a broader problem with the health care law.”

This comes as some congressional Republicans have called for the resignation of the woman in charge of the rollout, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The White House has said it stands by her. Even some White House allies, including former Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs, have said firings would be an appropriate response in the wake of the botched rollout. After wrangling over dates, Sebelius agreed to testify about the exchanges before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Oct. 30.

The Administration has tried to head off panic about the law’s faulty start, acknowledging in a recent blog post that the federal exchange website “has not lived up to the expectations of the American people” and promising to bring in outside information-technology experts to address technical problems. But even the efforts of what Obama termed a “tech surge” will take some time to work. The President acknowledged as much in his speech when he urged those having trouble signing up online to call a federal hotline or visit designated community centers and hospitals to apply in person.

(MORE: Tech Experts Tapped to Fix Health Care Site)

Yet, even if federal and state exchanges were all functioning properly, a third poll found that many Americans the administration hopes will use them do not understand how the marketplaces work. A recent Gallup poll shows that about 70% of uninsured Americans are unfamiliar with the exchanges, where they may be able to enroll in new coverage and access federal subsidies to make policies more affordable. This figure was essentially unchanged from September, before the exchanges launched. Awareness did rise among the general public, according to the Pew survey, with 65% of Americans aware of the existence of the exchanges, up from 51% in September.

The White House says some 20 million people have visited HealthCare.gov, the troubled federal exchange website, since it launched on Oct. 1. But those visits may not portend a future wave of enrollment. Although Pew found 1 in 7 Americans has visited an exchange website, more than half of those visitors already have insurance through an employer or government program, making them ineligible for new private coverage through Obamacare. About one-third of exchange website visitors were uninsured, according to Pew.

PHOTOS: Inside Obamacare: Promise vs. Reality

422 comments
ChelseaRimmer
ChelseaRimmer

The Government exists to ease our burden - not  make it heavier !     Please, don't 


just vent - here CALL  the Representatives who voted for this bill and let them know what you think . 

rr2257
rr2257

We  need to STORM the Whitehouse, we need to let the POWERS THAT BE know that we are NOT THEIR servants.  I am feeling that Congress and House feel that we work for "them" not the other way around (fat cats).  The correct way of thinking is that "our government" works for us - not that we work for our government.  In the last +/- 40 years it has become evident to me that the government expects us to work for THEM.  Can you believe that?  It is, after all, our own fault - we have become lax when faced with every-day trials regarding our government operations.  This is due to our own self-absorption in technology and making money.  Greed is speaking.  Are you listening?  I am not.

rr2257
rr2257

Another thing to think about is the price of Obamacare.  This year it will be +/- $800/mo for me, but what about next year, and the year after that?  Do you really think that the price will stay the same or go down each year?  Get real!!  With the government, prices NEVER stay the same, they just go UP and way up at that.  What do you guys think your (our) premiums will be one, two, three years from now?  Do YOU think Obama cares?  Obamacare - HAHAHAHA.  Obama does NOT care.  He does not even have to participate, and neither does anyone else in the Fed. arena.  THEY are ALL exempt.  In other words, the people who are in charge of MAKING us yield, are in fact, not yielding themselves.  THAT is unfair.

Please, get a spine and get on board.

rr2257
rr2257

Obamacare - I will NOT participate, will not have insurance because I will NOT participate (I am 57), and will probably die an earlier death because I will NOT participate due to not being able to pay for healthcare all on my own since we all HAVE to be on some sort of health program "in association with the PROGRAM".  I will NOT have the IRS up my but - literally.  The GOVERNMENT does not have a right to know what is going on up my ass!  (Very bad wording, I know, but think about it...).  I just think that the government has gone TOO FAR now.

What exactly does it take for the American people to realize that the government has over-stepped their boundaries?  When will we let them know?  We have all these outlets - internet, media, etc., but nothing is happening as far as people standing up for their rights!  Let's take a page from history from the '60's.  They let their voices be heard.  Let US make our voices heard even louder!  After all, we have many more outlets for our outrage!!!!!

rivtrvlr
rivtrvlr

Why didn't they keep insurance the way it was before and provide a solution for the uninsured? Most states already had provided private insurance policies for poor families.  Why not enhance medicaid and medi-cal insurance for the pre-existing individuals Obama keeps talking about?  Why change 300 million peoples lives for 14 million uninsurable, I am confused............   Its like if you are not one of the bottom percentile, who cares. . 

What the heck is wrong with this country..  Yes my deductible matters, why would anyone want a 5500 deductible?   I remember being in college and paying a fee each semester to use the medical aid.  Why was this the focus of either party with a messed up economy, immigration issues, weakening national security, people losing their homes, good paying jobs falling by the wayside, DC going nowhere......

MainelyDoc
MainelyDoc

I don't care about the access to healthcare.gov. I care about the staggering cost.  Anyone who doesn't get free health care (Medicaid beneficiaries) are going to be shocked at the premiums and the out of pocket costs.  I think Obamacare advocates are actually helping themselves with the delay of healthcare.gov because people aren't seeing how much this will actually cost them.  Many think it's going to be free.

MainelyDoc
MainelyDoc

I really don't care so much about the computer program glitches.  I care about the cost.  It is staggeringly more expensive for anyone who doesn't get free coverage.

joseelvir
joseelvir

David Harvell  said that we need a single payer system in this still  greate country , Cuba , Venezuela ,North Corea Canada ,United Kindon , Germany, France ,Australia and many other countries have the single payer system  or  "nationalized health care " it's a  fact  that in all those countries elderly people report mush more dificult to obtaining health care that in the U.S. it's a fact also  that in all those countries the mortality for breast and prostate cancer are very higth compare to the United States , maybe David forgot to tell us that we also need the " death panel " , that will be a little more mercyful right David ?

joseelvir
joseelvir

Don't you see whats happening here? , the so call obamacare was desing to fail , for God sake, don't you remember what he said to the unions? , " my plan is to get to the single payer " and that's the way they are going to get there, as you can see ,the insurance companys are sending thousand of letters to clients telling them that in january they will be canceled , many companys are pulling aut if  many states, just yesterday 800.000 thousand  New Jersey residents got letters of cancelations becouse they can not meet Obamacare's requirements, their plan is working as it was desing to work,

Hold on to you're seats, very soon you will see how important is to vote whit you head  instead of you feelings.

Bill_USA
Bill_USA

Has anybody polled people asking: 

1.  Would you like to go back to having pre-existing conditions eliminate you from coverage?... and

2.  Would you like to go back to having you college age children NOT covered by your family policy?.... and

3.  Would you like to go back to having lifetime limits on various types of medical conditions?...

I wonder how people would answer those questions?  actually, I don't wonder. I know how they would answer them!

factchecker2000
factchecker2000

The coding and other back-end work was handed to Indian workers. Even the website chat was outsourced. You aren't talking to an American, probably an Indian or Philippine person.

DavidHarvell
DavidHarvell

The ACA has major problems to be sure. And these go beyond website issues. The vast majority of these problems stem from the insistence on enacting a reform based on maintaining the USA's corrupt system of criminal health insurance cartels. Before the ACA we needed single payer, and we still need single payer.

john_rambo
john_rambo

Obama's dream of an America on welfare is coming to fruition. The "Messiah" LOL

George286
George286

I am not surprised, the anti-ACA people have been doing anything and everything to promote this.  But it does not matter, the law will stand or fall on its own merits in the next few years.  It probably does need changes to make it run smoothly.

malclave
malclave

The penalty for not having insurance is not high enough.  If the ACA is going to be successful, people HAVE to enroll in it.

First, forget this little $95 penalty.  Put some teeth into it.  And make it an actual fine, not just a reduction of tax refunds which people can avoid.

Second, implement income verification as required by law.

Third, all civilian federal employees, up to and including members of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches, should be required to use the exchanges... without any extra subsidies not available to all Americans.

suzy000
suzy000

Watch Obamacare flip the switches and send everyone to OFA to collect their premiums....I wouldn't put it past this Administration to do the unthinkable after refusing to rescue FOUR DYING AMERICANS at our consulate.  This is one corrupt Administration!

Good_Lt
Good_Lt

WE NEED YOUR HELP. WE NEED YOUR MONEY.


JOIN TEAM OBAMACARE TODAY. 


Sorry, I thought everyone could use a good laugh. 

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Well this is embarrassing to the article's narrative

 Skepticism about President Barack Obama's healthcare law appears to be thawing despite colossal glitches that marred its rollout, a Gallup poll found on Wednesday.

The survey shows that 45 percent now approve of Obamacare, compared with 41 percent in August, while 50 percent disapprove, up 1 percentage point from August.


ThomasMacso
ThomasMacso

The U.S. individual health insurance market currently totals about 19 million people. Because the Obama administration’s regulations on grandfathering existing plans were so stringent about 85% of those, 16 million, are not grandfathered and must comply with Obamacare at their next renewal. The rules are very complex. For example, if you had an individual plan in March of 2010 when the law was passed and you only increased the deductible from $1,000 to $1,500 in the years since, your plan has lost its grandfather status and it will no longer be available to you when it would have renewed in 2014.

These 16 million people are now receiving letters from their carriers saying they are losing their current coverage and must re-enroll in order to avoid a break in coverage and comply with the new health law’s benefit mandates––the vast majority by January 1. Most of these will be seeing some pretty big rate increases.

eightpastsix
eightpastsix

@rivtrvlr Agreed. When ACA first passed in 2010, the gov't came up with an interim program called PCIP, and the more I think about it, the more I wonder why they didn't just expand on this program (I think it would have cost  less in the end and probably not required forcible enrollment) instead of trying to build the ACA up from scratch. ACA has noble intentions but terrible execution. And it doesn't help that insurance companies hiked up the prices of their plans to sidestep the passing of costs, thereby defeating the 'affordable' part of the act. That's been a recurring problem for the Obama administration.

The website is a completely different issue, though. I hate that people don't get that. Website design/IT problems don't have anything to do with ACA. That's like worrying that the quality of the college degree that took you four-five years to earn is going to be negatively affected b/c a squirrel ran into a generator and shut down the computer labs on campus for a week during your sophomore year. It's just not logical to assume a correlation there.

postingonline42
postingonline42

@Bill_USA1) No. 2) 200% yes (even better if they can get jobs on their own and move out) 3) Yes, if i can have my old premium back.

I don't have any pre-existing conditions, but you got me on #1.

icetaximama
icetaximama

@Bill_USA I was "uninsurable" and had to go through the High Risk Pool. That policy has been cancelled. I am unable to get any coverage from anyone right now because no website is working and you can't call in...they just tell you to keep trying. I have gotten a quote. Small price decline...WAAAYYYY less coverage. So yes, I would like to go back. BTW, if you call the hotline at 2AM a Pakistani lady tells you to "try off peak hours, such as the middle of the night". I really mind my tax dollars going to create jobs in a foreign country and the job not even providing a useful service. If you think this new system is better, you need to have your head examined.

Austin_Texas
Austin_Texas

@factchecker2000Would love to see a document where you got your facts checked from.This is not true at all. The only comment came from McAfee ( who is a crazy fugitive) on Fox News and the some non-techie guy's comment about Hindi & Gujarati language support on https://www.healthcare.gov/language-resource/. The reason is a large # of uninsured workers at 7-11s, motels and corner mom-n-pop convenient stores speak Hindi & Gujarati.

 In fact, the staggering lack of Indian technology experts in both the leadership of CMS & CGI (as well as rank and file developers) is one of the reasons for complete carelessness in the delivery procedure and integration testing. How could the party whose entire platform was anti-outsourcing to other countries involve those (even if they are more competent) in their signature legislation in 40 years?

 Now that they have realized they need such technical talent, to fix teh website they are falling back on a vendor QSSI, whose CEO, COO & CTO had technical education in India. http://www.qssinc.com/leadership.html 

Bill_USA
Bill_USA

@DavidHarvell That's why I'm not too concerned. 

If the GOP succeeds in making ACA fail (by convincing young people it makes more sense to count on emergency rooms for 'free' health care instead of having insurance and their own doctor) then in a few years most people will be without health care insurance (companies won't be able to afford group plans and will drop them, individual buyers -- forget it, they definitely won't be able to afford it) ... eventually the current health care non-system will collapse.  With fewer and fewer people with insurance, hospitals and doctors will see clientele drop off .  People will be going back to the 18th & 19th century approach of 'survival' rather than health maintenance. 

People  however, will obviously find that not satisfactory and the emergency will demand definite and swift action -- IOW adding everybody to Medicare.  Thus, we will get what is the sensible way to go - Single Payer - eliminating the profit making middle men - the insurance companies. 

barneydidit
barneydidit

@john_rambo The country was a lot closer to being on Welfare at the end of the Bush era than it ever will be under Obama John. 

ThomasMacso
ThomasMacso

@malclave Quit lying like the MSM, it's $95 OR 1% of earnings, so if you make $40k the penalty/tax is $4000.

George286
George286

@suzy000 Benghazi was a total FAIL as a scandal, even Daryl Issa had to admit it after the State Department and the military said everything that should have been done was done.  Go back to calling Obama a Kenyan, maybe you can get some traction from that lying BS.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@suzy000 Stop with the Benghazi lie. You had an administration that let 3000 American die on US soil after being warned 37 times by the CIA and you have the balls to lie about 4 dead during a CIA operation.

George286
George286

@ThomasMacso NONE of them are "losing their coverage" the latest big giant freakin' lie being trotted out, they are being re-enrolled, as you yourself state.  They are being re-enrolled in policies that comply with the new law, big deal.  

And the new law is not so "complex" that hundreds of insurers have been able to offer policies.  The new policies can't have lifetime limits, they have to allow children under 26 to be kept on them, offer checkups, etc.  Again, big deal.

But thanks for the hysteria and exaggeration.

icetaximama
icetaximama

@Austin_Texas @factchecker2000  I called the hotline myself at 2AM and was told by a lady with a heavily Indian or Pakistani accent to "try during off peak hours, such as the middle of the night". She declined to tell me what country she was in, but it obviously was not the United States or she would have known it WAS the middle of the night. You get your facts straight. I've called the hotline a number of times. I rarely get anyone who is a native English speaker. What does THAT tell you? Try it yourself. Don't rely on what the liars in Washington would like you to believe.

MatthewHall3
MatthewHall3

@Bill_USA @DavidHarvell Wow really? Did you know that illeagal immigrants shut down a hospital ER that was less than ten miles from me where I lived in NC, Single Payer System, why dont you move to a country where they have one, and see how it goes. You know, it sounds harsh, but nature will eventually take its course on all of us at some point regardless of what insurance you hold. That being said, why should I be required by mandate to pay one dime towards your insurance, at the expense of me, and my family? My insurance rate just doubled, and for a policy that covers less, has a narrower network, and a much higher deduct. And for what, so I can pay to offset the cost of the insurance company having to pay to cover someone who was uninsurable. Why should we require private companies, in a free country to cover the expenses of people, who were deemed uninsurable to begin with. The problem here is clear, over government regulation, and too many people like you, who feel that you are obligated to things just because you are an american.

EdBernal
EdBernal

@barneydidit @john_rambo what was the average unemployment rate while Bush was in office?  It was about 5.6%.  It's been a bit higher under Obama. :-)  Started going up as soon as the Dems took control of the House in Bush's last two years.  Hate when those little things like facts get in the way.

malclave
malclave

Okay, I missed the 1% part.  It still needs real teeth, though... isn't it true that if you don't get a tax refund that the penalty cannot be collected?

MatthewHall3
MatthewHall3

@George286 @suzy000  thats why a 60 minutes investigation proved otherwise right? And I did not see people from this POS administration get up on national tv the next day and lie to us all over the whole thing, it was an obscure video from some no name out of Florida remember?

MatthewHall3
MatthewHall3

@mantisdragon91 @suzy000  No one in the CIA said anything to anyone about 911, dont know where you got that from, but that was part of the problem, several government agencies knew that the 911 highjackers had overstayed their visas, and did not inform any other agency

ChelseaRimmer
ChelseaRimmer

@George286 @ThomasMacso Thanks again for the premiums rates that are doubling 

when people can barely make ends meet as it is .  More of Obama's war on the Middle Class 

barneydidit
barneydidit

@EdBernal @barneydidit @john_rambo Facts? You mean like correlation = causation? What bills did the Democrats (who had a whole 1 vote majority in the Senate in 06 BTW) pass that caused the economic disaster that was the hallmark of Bush's tenure? There was some high sunspot activity in 08 too Ed, maybe that caused the crash. 

MatthewHall3
MatthewHall3

@George286 thats exactly what they claim on fox news, and its 95 or 1% whichever is higher, and 400 dollars is 400 dollars, I should not be forced to buy a product I do not wish to have, or pay a fine, regardless

George286
George286

@mantisdragon91 @ThomasMacso @malclave Ha!  That's probably not what they claim  on Fox News.  You and your fancy liberal arithmetic.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@EdBernal @George286 @suzy000 The military did do everything they could. More importantly there were more CIA ex special force operatives in Benghazi that night than the rest of Libya combined.