Has Obamacare Helped or Hurt You and Your Family? More Americans Say It's Hurt.


Most Americans, about 54 percent, don't think Obamacare has had much of an effect on themselves or their families one way or another. But amongst those who do, far more believe the effect is negative than positive, according to a new Gallup poll.

The survey finds that 27 percent of Americans believe the law has hurt them. That figure has grown from 19 percent since the beginning of the year, when the law's major coverage expansion provisions kicked in. As the law takes hold, in other words, people find themselves negatively affected by it.

Now, it's also true that the number of people who say they have been helped by the law has grown this year, from 10 percent to 16 percent. But those survey numbers suggest where the greater impact is, and why the law's overall poll numbers continue to be negative, with 41 percent approving of the law and 53 percent disapproving, according to Gallup.

You can see the kind of impact the law is having just by looking at the news. Walmart is dropping health plans for about 30,000 part-time workers, about 5 percent of its workforce, according to the Associated Press. Target, Home Depot, and other big retailers have made similar moves. The retail giant isn't specifically citing Obamacare as the cause. But it's almost certainly a factor. As the AP notes:

The announcement comes after Wal-Mart said far more U.S. employees and their families are enrolling in its health care plans than it had expected following rollout of the Affordable Care Act, which requires big companies to offer coverage to employees working 30 hours or more a week or face a penalty.

Combine this with so many other recent reports about the law—reports noting, among other things, that tens or hundreds of thousands more plans will be cancelled this year, that many of the plans offered through the law rely on narrow provider networks, that its various waivers and tax provisions are expected to be enormously complicated (at best) for many families over the coming year, that emergency room usage is up in states that participate in the law's Medicaid expansion, that there are security flaws in the exchange technology (which still isn't finished)—and it's not hard to see why, even with the significant expansion of health coverage under the law, more people think the law has hurt them than helped, why the law's overall poll numbers remain low, and why, even amongst Democratic politicians, ostensibly the law's political base, there is a clear wariness about voicing support for the law. 

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  1. The figures in about six months should be very revealing – anyone want to bet me about huge growth in the ‘helps me’ numbers?

    And, I have this bridge…

  2. Sarah Silverman somehow becomes more insufferable

    She hilariously goes and gets a penis, because you know, WAGE GAP!

    1. Does she get paid 70% less than male comedians?

      I mean they all do equal work, right? Why should she get paid more than the guy hustling in clubs across the country?

      1. She’s paid too much for…for whatever it is that she does.

        1. The funny thing is, if Sarah Silverman had tried to make it as a male comedian with the same jokes, she would have failed.

          Can you think of any joke she’s told that is anywhere close to being as memorable as one from Carlin, Hicks, Rock, Hedberg, Cosby, or Wright? Even Joan Rivers managed to be funnier.

          1. No. She is not funny at all. The only reason anyone pretends she is funny is because they like her politics and view pretending to like her as a cultural signal.

      2. The average pay for entertainers and performers as of 2010 was $18.60/hour. Anything she’s making over that, she ought to be paying out to the male entertainers who earn less.

    2. The Jezebel write up on this:


      1. As one would expect, the comments section on this Jezebel article is an intellectual wasteland.

        ShadowPrydeHillary Crosley
        Today 11:43am
        Let me preference this by saying[…]

    3. Some non-derp from the video comments:


      “Kind of funny video, but the underlying message is a lie.

      Surgeons should make more money than general practitioners, this is a fact and this should not change due to higher education, higher complexity, higher risk, being sued and the guilt of loosing a patient. Both are considered “doctors” but women only make up 16% of surgeons.

      The “Gender gap” is actually feminist propaganda tricking people into believing it using generalizations. How about this, if you want to make the same amount of money as a man, pull your own weight just like we do. You should not be able to make the same amount of money as a man for doing less work, that is sexist and selfish.?”


      “Again, this ancient relic of a statistic is being pulled out from beneath the dusty rug that is the internet. It’s been stated so many times it practically gives itself credibility! Except for the fact that it’s utter bullshit.

      I believe in feminism. It’s great to want to better your place in society. But lying to give your plight validity is not the way to go about it.”

      1. I remember when I first noticed that the people who believe the wage gap bunk also tend believe global warming and minimum wage bunk. It was at this I decided these people are idiots.

        Stupid people cause problems because they believe things that are not true. This happens because they ignore everything that conflicts with their beliefs.

        1. But very bright people can also believe those things. Politics is the mindkiller.

  3. Well, my premiums went up by close to 150% since this mess started. The only advantage was that I was in New York, whose batshit insane insurance regulations meant it was expensive to begin with. Other perople get higher proportional increases.

    1. Mine have quadrupled for shittier coverage.

      1. Mine also quadrupled for less coverage. Then I tried to add maternity coverage and my insurance carrier basically said tough shit, they’re not allowed to add such coverage to my policy until some magic date in November at which point I will have already successfully inseminated my axlotl tank and already have a preexisting condition. I will not regulate my reproduction on the basis of bureaucratic whims. I will however get fucked financially as a result.

  4. Premiums up over 25% over the last two years, deductibles doubled this year, and the insurer now declines a ton of things that were completely covered as recently as last year.

    I’m sure this is all a false correlation I’m making due to absorbing Koch propaganda like NOVA and Reason.

    1. I don’t think my coverage shrank that much, thye absorbed that cost by raising prices instead.

      1. The non-coverage pisses me off, but the bigger issue is doubling our deductibles.

        1. Having looked into the specifics of my plan (Which, due to poor website design I can’t directly link to), I am forced to suddenly thank Spitzer for my government job. Especially compared to the horrendous options running around the exchanges. Just because we have a million people in our risk pool (as of the last time I asked the people who manage it) we are reaping the benefits that were supposed to happen by having the healthy pay into the pool. We’re all paying, but most of us aren’t sick at any given time.

          tl;dr – I’m glad I don’t have a deductable.

      2. I have had a lovely mix of higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maxes, higher premiums and less coverage. Yea for O!care

        1. I grow tired of subsidizing everyone else. I may start demanding money back from everyone on a subsidy, the dole, or who otherwise receives my money for no fucking good reason.

          1. Is there any good reason?

            1. Yes. A rule is not a valid ethical rule unless it’s universalizable. So if it’s ethically permissible for someone to tax me, then I get to tax them too, right?

  5. omelette~eggs

  6. With so much popular media and so many news readers acting as cheerleader, I am very surprised it’s got so much negative polling. I honestly think a good portion of the people giving Obamacare the thumbs-down haven’t actually personally seen the negative effects yet. They will, I think, and they know it, but I’m surprised that they know it’s coming.

    1. I don’t pay much attention to the media but I don’t recall seeing that much discussion about it at all. Oh sure, left-wing outlets run articles every week that hilariously tout “Another Obamacare Success!” with a smiling or laughing picture of the president, but in general I think the media is uncomfortable reporting about it because of the problems it is having.

    2. This is one of those things that the media doesn’t totally own and so can’t control the spin on. People would have immediately been hearing rumors at work after the law passed that HR was going to change their insurance or that everyone working more than 30 hours was going to be cut back to 30 and so on. They’d hear stories from their friends and relatives how their insurance costs went way up. This is why they know something is coming. Because the shockwaves are already spreading.

      1. I suppose it’s true, the people who were designed to benefit from the law were going to vote Democrat anyway. Almost everyone else already had a job with established insurance and any change to them was or will be supremely negative.

      2. They’re trying


        Walmart is actually involved in promoting some aspects of the health reform law to help get more foot traffic in its stores. Earlier this week, the company announced that 2,700 of its locations will be staffed with insurance agents to help customers enroll in new insurance plans, either through Medicare or through Obamacare’s private insurance marketplaces. Part-time workers who now need to enroll in Obamacare polices may have an even more personalized option: Walmart told the New York Times that a health coverage specialist will help guide them “through the process of finding alternative coverage.”

        1. They conveniently leave out the fact that Walmart used to offer health insurance to part time workers, but had to cancel it due to increased costs caused by the ACA

  7. Again, my employer sent out a guide to open enrollment, as they do every year. The only noticeable difference was this bit:

    “Under the federal Affordable Care Act, high cost (or “Cadillac”)
    health plans will be subject to a 40 percent excise tax, beginning
    in 2018. The In-Network Only Premium Plan would qualify as a
    “Cadillac” plan subject to the excise tax. Primarily as a result of this significant future tax liability, X will no longer be offering this plan after 2014. Employees who are currently enrolled in this plan
    will have the option to select from X’s other three plans during
    Open Enrollment. Those currently enrolled in the terminating plan
    that do not choose a new plan or do not waive coverage by the
    end of Open Enrollment will automatically be enrolled in X’s
    Medium plan.”

    If you like it, stick it up your ass. I’ve sent this guide to many friends and acquaintances who tried to explain the ACA to me from the beginning. One of my more liberal friends who discussed the ACA with me for hours over the past year + responded by saying, “Well, it’s been disappointing so far.” So, that’s progress, I guess.

    1. my company dropped it’s “cadillac” plan last year.

  8. Show me on the doll where Obama touched you.

    1. FoE already did that joke

      1. Well I’m new dammit. I haven’t even gone to the Reason orphanage to get some workers yet.

        1. Just giving you a hard time. I am relatively new, and don’t get to post much. Any other day and I probably wouldn’t have even seen the AM links and that joke

        2. I didn’t get Orphan Laborers, I’m on the “Not a Libertarian” package that comes with an “Avoid the Collectivist Tarring” card.

          1. I’m a more a sympathetic fellow traveler who just wants free orphans.

            1. They’re not free, as a harvester/collator, reason will charge you for acquiring them for you.

              1. So I have to buy a subscription to get the orphans? Do they come in the mail or what? I never had these problems over at LewRockwell.com.

              2. What the hell! I was told I had to spend 3 nights in Warty’s dungeon as payment for my orphans

                1. They lied to you TaT.

                  All you need is cash, or collateral.

    2. *points to doll’s wallet*

      1. Mac: (to the gas station owner) You’re about to experience the hard knocks of a free market, bitch. Get ready to feel it where it hurts.

        Charlie: Your dick.

        Mac: No. No, not his dick. His?his wallet.

  9. I found this post yesterday at a decidedly nonpolitical site.

    1. $12,000 deductable? $900 per month? For four people? I’d go “Screw you” too.

      1. They wanted $650/month for $7500 deductible shit insurance for my wife and I (mid 20, healthy) on the exchange. Thank God she still gets employer insurance for cheaper than that.

        1. And now we can’t just put that much in savings every month and let our wealth and credit worthiness be our insurance, without getting penalized.

      2. Sounds like Anthem just doesn’t want to write any more polices in Indiana anymore.

        Politically, it may be hard to just exit the state. At the same time, there may not be a lot of other privately insured people in Indiana, so the local providers may be gouging the hell out of them.

        I don’t imagine regulators want to see them abandon the state ahead of an election. So what do you do? Offer polices no one in their right mind would buy.

        Barack Obama is an idiot.

        1. President Obama is an idiot. Candidate Obama had to good sense to campaign against this plan.

    2. I could have written that. I live in Indiana, and I am having the same experience. Same price range, same high deductible to replace our existing “substandard” employer-provided coverage that will be yanked in January. We have far fewer than 50 employees, so I am expecting to a) get another job, b) pay out the ass for shitty coverage, or c) just go without coverage for my family.

      Yep, that is SO much better than before.

  10. If only 16% of the people out there think it’s helped them, then that’s an indictment by itself.

    I’d like to see information about the economic status of these people in the 16%. If they’re mostly unemployed and on welfare and Medicaid, then we could have done something for them without ruining the system for the middle class.

    I mean, I’m as much against free handouts as the next libertarian, but if we could get to something better than Obamacare by way of an intermediate step, then we should do that.

    Maybe we should start an Occupy Pennsylvania Avenue movement and carry signs saying, “I’m Part of the 84%!”

  11. Free, unlimited health care for everyone isn’t actually free? Or unlimited?

    What the fuck?

    1. I hate to break it to you, but it also barely qualifies as Health Care.

  12. It was already a bad system in many ways.

    Now, worse – and in a drip-by-drip Chinese Water Torture kind of way.

  13. It hurt me
    I lost my insurance in March or April due to Obamacare. Got temporary insurance until my school insurance kicked in. Unfortunately, I learned that even though my school is a satellite located in NH since the system is based out of Mass the student provided insurance was issued from Mass thus expensive as hell.

    Obamacare then Romneycare in less than 6 months. Yay!

  14. 16% is double 8%. It’s a big f’n deal!

  15. Since the passage of the Unaffordable Care Act, I’ve seen my take home pay go down nearly a hundred dollars a week. And I’ve gotten one raise in that time. My new insurance doesn’t cover shit, and the deductible is ridiculous. My wife has had to find a new doctor for her woman stuff since they don’t take the new insurance. Same with the kid’s pediatrician. Because the insurance doesn’t cover shit, and the deductible is ridiculous, I’ve now got thousands of dollars in hospital debt that goes up faster than I can pay it down. I’ll likely be paying it for the rest of my life. Or until the hospital refuses service because I owe them money. Can they do that?

    1. Not if you come in through the ER.

    2. I think the plan is for the hardest hit to sell their children to the gypsies and their wives to the Saudis.

      Move fast – lot of prime stuff will be dumped on the market soon, I think.

    3. Have you talked to the hospital about it yet? They can’t deny you service (through the ER) and they usually don’t come down hard on people who owe them money because they know there’s no point and it will only hurt their standing in the community. If you go to them and explain your situation they might forgive some or your debt or put you on a no/low-interest payment plan (so long as you always at least pay the minimum). Seriously, they are a lot easier to deal with than a bank or credit card company.

      1. I just keep sending them $50 or $100 a month. Every month. Soon as I get the bill. So far I haven’t had any issues. I figure I’m probably doing a lot more than most people out there.

      2. And they’re not charging interest. At least not that I can tell.

        1. Depending on the hospital, they might be willing to negotiate a lower overall bill.

          1. I’ve been reluctant to call to set up a payment plan or anything because that usually involves paying interest.

            1. I may be mistaken but I think it’s actually illegal to charge interest on outstanding medical debt to healthcare providers like hospitals and doctor’s office. At least in Ohio.

            2. No, I mean simply pointing out that the bill is a hardship for you. I don’t know your financial situation, but about five years ago when I had an overnight ICU experience, the hospital (a non-profit) turned out to consider anyone who made less than $44,000 a year in San Francisco to be “poor,” and they simply zeroed out my bill.

  16. We need SugarFree to write about the threesome that took place after that pic was taken.

    1. He already did. I almost barfed when I read it. Showed it to my wife and she thought it was awesome.

      1. I should check out his blog more often, but my therapist put me on a strict quota.

    2. You’re dead to me.

    3. They cut the bottom of that pic off. There’s actually a pig and a Doberman involved, too.

  17. The picture of Obama, Pelosi and Sebelius reminds me of the Three Stooges.

    Of course the Three Stooges were only pretending to be stupid.

    1. You don’t get to that level of power by being stupid. You get there by being mendacious and manipulative.

    2. And the Stooges usually only hurt themselves, not an entire nation.

  18. My premiums have gone up substantially and will probably go up much higher next month during open-enrollment.

    But the deductible is were everyone is getting screwed good and hard.

    Before Obama / Pelosi decided to destroy the healthcare system, I had an HMO that I really liked – and NO deductible. Now I have a PPO with a deductible I’ll never hit.

    1. You’ll hit it if you ever need an operation.

      1. Meanwhile, I’m paying more for insurance that covers far less. So yes, Obamacare has hurt my family.

  19. It’s definitely hurt me.

    I had insurance that I could afford before.

    Now I can’t afford any of the remaining legal options.

  20. Neurons in the cerebral cortex are not turned over. They are never replaced.

    1. threading fail

    2. are you suggesting that doing lots of Nitrous Oxide while drunk was not contributing to my cognitive development over the years?

      whoa, dude.

      1. Hey Nitrous is wonderful stuff.

        1. Also known as Hippy Lobotomy

          which is a joke in itself, because degenerating a hippy’s brain is like…uhm… er….. what’s a word for, like, “totally not hard at all dude”?

  21. Wah. All you people whining about paying more and getting less. Couldn’t you try and see the bright side of this – just think of how Obamacare benefits insurance companies and politicians. Is that so hard?

  22. Note that one of the claimed reasons we needed Obamacare was to eliminate “junk policies” that had very high deductibles. And now we have new, “improved” health plans with very high deductibles.

  23. “The survey finds that 27 percent of Americans believe the law has hurt them”


    1. The headline on the false consciousness article made me LOL. Racism and cruelty drive the GOP health care agenda apparently.

  24. Those not negatively effected haven’t seen the deductible.

  25. It is stupid for anyone to pay for my pre natal healthcare, etc. I am a 60+ year old man with a vasectomy.

  26. As a retired RN who for years saw so much greed in health care I am trying to find out why this whole attack that was carried on by mainly the Republicans. So far I have not had one person tell me their health insurance has been dropped or changed to where they cannot afford it? I have an older son in his 40 lost his computer education job here in Ga. Many cut backs in education etc? WHY. He had to go on Cobra which became expensive I know from having to use it years ago. He was able to look on Obamacare and get a lower paying policy plus really he got to keep his own doctor? Amazing after all the anti Obamacare. I am on Medicare so not having to get Obamacare plus I have to pay for back up plan? Georgia did not take the Govt Medicaid this is hurting us as a state? Please before making this a total negative get all the real facts. WE need one payer in the future? I even left the Republican Party to vote this last election for Obama per health care? Mainly Independent now and back Sen Bernie Sanders for the middle class?

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