Opposition to PPACA remains, but understanding of law has changed

Opposition to PPACA remains, but understanding of law has changed

ACA DocumentA new study of public opinion on the Patient Protection and Affordable Act (PPACA) suggests the landmark health law is more popular than is generally assumed.

The analysis that was published in Health Affairs is based on polling data from the first four years after the PPACA was adopted by Congress in 2010, so the only post-implementation data it includes comes from the first few months after the law went into effect at the end of 2013.

Lawrence Jacobs, a professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, conducted the analysis by polling the same group of 1,200 people in 2010, 2012, and 2014 to see if and how people’s opinions about the law would change.

First, many more people in 2014 believed that, for better or worse, the law had a significant impact on the U.S. health care system. Similarly, 19 percent more respondents agreed that the law expanded health coverage.

Among those opposed to the PPACA, the percentage who said the law should be entirely repealed dropped slightly during the course of the study, from 80 percent to 72 percent.

In the two years since Obamacare went into effect, polls have generally shown that the nation remains deeply divided over the law but that opposition is nowhere near as fierce as in the years after the law was approved.

Part of its improved standing is undoubtedly due to the millions of Americans who have gained coverage through the law, either through expanded Medicaid or through a subsidized private insurance plan. Perhaps as a result, Obamacare has not been nearly as prominent issue in the presidential race as it was four years ago.