News / USA

Survey: Support for Obama's Healthcare Law Edges Up

Public health office staff members in Illinois work with people trying to sign up for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, October 1, 2013.
Public health office staff members in Illinois work with people trying to sign up for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, October 1, 2013.
Reuters
Americans appear to be somewhat warmer to President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, despite the troubled roll out of the government website that is essential for its success, a poll released on Wednesday found.
 
The Gallup survey showed people “are slightly more positive now” that they were shortly before the launch of healthcare.gov, which aims to allow consumers to enroll and shop on their own for a health insurance plan.
 
Still, 45 percent of those polled in mid-October said they generally approve of the law compared to 50 percent who said they disapprove, Gallup said. In August, 41 percent backed the health reform plan while 49 percent did not. The healthcare plan continues to polarize Republicans and Democrats.
 
The nationwide polling firm surveyed more than 1,500 adults between Oct. 18 to Oct. 20, amid the technical problems that have plagued the Affordable Care Act's insurance marketplace website, which launched Oct 1.
 
“This suggests that the poor performance of the health exchange sites may not at this point be negatively affecting Americans' views of the ACA overall,” Gallup researchers said of the survey, which questioned people just days after the partial government shutdown ended.
 
Gallup's poll also showed a gap in support between younger Americans, whose enrollment is seen as critical to the law's success, and those who are older and qualify for health insurance through the federal government's Medicare program.
 
More than half of 18- to 29-year olds - or 51 percent - backed the health reforms compared to 38 percent of those 65 and older, according to the poll, which has a margin-of-error rate of plus-or minus 3 percentage points.
 
The findings come as the Obama Administration scrambles to fix the website, promising a “tech surge” with a team of government and industry experts to fix the problem and offering other options such as telephone enrollment.
 
Republicans investigating

Republicans in Congress have also begun their own investigations of the website's problems. Conservatives have long opposed the law, also known as “Obamacare,” and made its defunding the focus of their political strategy, which led to the federal government shutdown earlier this month.
 
“The law remains one of the most polarizing issues Gallup has measured, with more than eight in 10 Democrats approving, while more than eight in 10 Republicans disapprove,” the polling firm said.
 
Later on Wednesday, health insurance industry executives will meet with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and White House officials, the White House said.
 
The Obama administration has also scheduled a briefing with Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, some of whom have expressed concern with the program's troubles.
 
Gallup's poll showed the number of Democrats who embrace the measure has grown. In August, 71 percent of those who identified as Democrats said they favored the law compared to 83 percent in October. Slightly more political independents also said they backed it, while Republican numbers were largely unchanged.
 
Despite the increase in support for the health law, Gallup said its other research shows a majority of Americans still want lawmakers to modify it “in some way - repealing it entirely, scaling it back, or expanding it.”
 
Overall, most polls have show that a narrow majority of Americans oppose the healthcare law. A Reuters/Ipsos online poll on Tuesday showed 54 percent of people opposed the law while 46 percent favored it.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs