47 Percent of Americans Say Health Care Law Has Decreased Their Confidence In Government's Ability to Solve Problems

The latest Reason-Rupe poll finds that the troubled implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has caused 47 percent of Americans to lose confidence in government’s ability to solve problems. 

Eleven percent of Americans say the health care rollout has increased their confidence in government’s ability to solve problems, while 41 percent say the law’s implementation hasn’t made much of a difference either way.

In fact, even a quarter of those with favorable opinions of the health care law say the roll-out decreased their confidence in government.

Twenty-seven percent of Democrats, 73 percent of Republicans and 49 percent of independents say the health care law’s roll-out has decreased their confidence in government’s ability to solve problems.

Those with incomes higher than $75,000 a year were more likely (56 percent) to say implementation of the ACA has decreased their confidence in government while 34 percent said it made no difference. Conversely, those with incomes lower than $75,000 a year were about equally likely to say the ACA roll-out decreased their confidence in government (44 percent) or that it made no difference (43 percent).

Young Americans under 35 were least shaken by the ACA implementation. While 51 percent of those over 35 say they’ve lost trust in government’s efficacy, 37 percent of young Americans agree. Instead a plurality (47 percent) of Americans under 35 say the law’s roll-out has not impacted their view of government.

Among those reporting a favorable view of the federal health care law, only one in five, 21 percent, say the law’s implementation has increased their confidence in the government’s ability to solve problems while 55 percent say it hasn’t made much of a difference.

Nationwide telephone poll conducted Dec 4-8 2013 interviewed 1011 adults on both mobile (506) and landline (505) phones, with a margin of error +/- 3.7%. Princeton Survey Research Associates International executed the nationwide Reason-Rupe survey. Columns may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Full poll results, detailed tables, and methodology found here. Sign up for notifications of new releases of the Reason-Rupe poll here.

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  • ||

    I see today is a poll-dump kinda day.

  • sarcasmic||

    At least Emily is no longer constipated. That's a relief.

  • ||

    Remember, Tuesday Wednesday is poll day!

  • ||

    I'm surprised they aren't banking some of this polling data for other days. Maybe a poll-a-day setup.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||


  • Fist of Etiquette||

    When you've lost the 47%...

  • Lord Humungus||

    You know who else decreased the confidence in government's ability to solve problems?

  • wwhorton||

    Charles I?

  • Drake||

    I'm guessing the other 53% were already at zero?

  • Sudden||

    This. I would be in the no difference category as I already knew damn well that govt only creates problems.

  • Fluffy||

    It's amusing that earlier today I was afraid Emily had left.

  • Sigivald||

    Even among people who supported the ACA in itself, the idea that anyone's confidence in the State's ability to solve problems was increased by this rollout is mind-boggling.

    (And I'd love to know the breakdown of level-of-confidence before the ACA was, for the various groups, yes.

    That'd be interesting data.)

  • wwhorton||

    I work for an IT consultancy that focuses on health and life sciences. We're rolling out software that basically helps with care management: tracks costs, outcomes, some predictive modeling, that sort of thing. Since most of us aren't medical people, we hired a SME who's worked with a number of health care groups to sort of explain the industry.

    Turns out there are these things called Affordable Care Organizations that have arisen recently in response to the Obama administration's medical legislation. ACOs are groups of hospitals, doctors, and other providers who make a sort-of umbrella group to pool information and reduce cost by avoiding redundancy and waste. The Federal grant money helps, too.

    See, prior to the ACA, Medicare fraud and waste was super easy because doctors and hospitals and so forth didn't share records. You might get 4 x-rays of the same thing because it was faster than calling the doctor and getting the first set of results, and, since Medicare would pay out for each x-ray, there was no motivation to not waste money.

    Unless, of course, the patient had private health insurance, because private insurance had all sorts of checks such as coverage limits and, as a last resort, denying coverage entirely.

    Right up until the ACA, that is. Which prevents insurance companies from denying or revoking coverage and raises coverage limits. Just like that model of efficiency, Medicare.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    I don't think the total clusterfuck of rollout has decreased my confidence in "government’s ability to solve problems".

    But can you have less than zero confidence?

  • Gozer the Gozerian||


    Win battles, lose wars!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    You know who else decreased the confidence in government's ability to solve problems?


  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    Why not just say, "Russians"?

  • ||

    Obamacare hasn't decreased my confidence in the government's ability to solve problems, which was already at zero.

  • Sam Grove||

    I scrolled though the comments to see if anyone else said that so I wouldn't look bad.

  • prolefeed||

    I figured that would be said, repeatedly, and scrolled through to confirm.

  • Batgirl||

    There are people who think the government has the ability to solve problems?!?!

  • Bean Counter||

    One word: TONY


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