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Desert Reckoning

Desert Reckoning

By Deanne Stillman

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Ear to the Ground

Poll Pits Obamacare vs. the Affordable Care Act

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Posted on Sep 27, 2013
Andrew Aliferis (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Well, at least they know what they don’t like. And it’s not necessarily the new federal health care law.

CNBC just finished its third-quarter “All-America Economic Survey” of 812 people, in which pollsters asked half the pool if they support Obamacare, and the other half if they support the Affordable Care Act. And yes, it’s the same thing, with Obamacare being the tag conservatives applied to the ACA in hopes of stigmatizing it (remember Hillarycare?).

Remarkably, 30 percent said they didn’t know enough about ACA to have an opinion on it, compared with 12 percent when it was called Obamacare. But overall, more people supported or disliked Obamacare than they did ACA—even though it’s the same program.

Now for the difference: 29 percent of the public supports Obamacare compared with 22 percent who support ACA. Forty-six percent oppose Obamacare and 37 percent oppose ACA. So putting Obama in the name raises the positives and the negatives. Gender and partisanship are responsible for the differences. Men, independents and Republicans are more negative on Obamacare than ACA. Young people, Democrats, nonwhites and women are more positive on Obamacare.

And Republicans are paying closer attention than the public.

One group that seems most informed on the issue: Republicans. While 30 percent of the public overall say they doesn’t know enough about the Affordable Care Act to have an opinion, just 18 percent of Republicans and tea party supporters are unsure. Their opinions, of course, are highly negative.

In an unrelated question, about half of the respondents said they believed the U.S. health care system was in worse shape now than a year ago, with 15 percent saying it was in better shape, though the survey didn’t have a mechanism for measuring why people thought the way they did. And not surprisingly, 41 percent said the job market is worse today than a year ago.

The full survey is available here.

—Posted by Scott Martelle.



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