Despite all the uproar, views of the Affordable Care Act hold steady

The launch of the health marketplaces, particularly the federal one, has not gone well. It’s been a big mess.

And lately there has been a lot of publicity about cancellations of individual policies, after President Obama repeatedly said people could keep theirs if they wanted. (That issue is more nuanced than often reported, but deserves its own post. In the meantime, check out the analysis of health economist Jonathan Gruber.)

Despite the uproar, public opinion regarding Obamacare has remained remarkably steady.

Here’s the best source on this, the Kaiser tracking poll.

As the graph shows, favorability and unfavorability toward the ACA have hardly budged.

In addition, people have not changed their views about what they’d like to have happen going forward.

Support for repealing Obamacare is not high. Overall, 24% want to repeal it and not replace it, while 13% support repealing it and replacing it with a Republican alternative.

In contrast, 47% either want to keep the law as is (25%) or expand it (22%).

Now, of course it may be that opinion will shift in the coming weeks and months. But so far, it hasn’t.

Right now it looks like Americans largely made up their minds awhile ago and, ultimately, Obamacare’s reception will depend on how well it works. And, despite what strong partisans believe, determining success or failure will take some time.

Amy Fried

About Amy Fried

Amy Fried loves Maine's sense of community and the wonderful mix of culture and outdoor recreation. She loves politics in three ways: as an analytical political scientist, a devoted political junkie and a citizen who believes politics matters for people's lives. Fried is Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. Her views do not reflect those of her employer or any group to which she belongs.