In the month following its March 23 enactment, California registered voters were supportive of the Patient Protection and Affordability Act (H.R. 3590), results of a Field Poll released this week show. Voters support the law 52 percent to 38 percent, according to the poll that was conducted in April.
What’s striking about the poll numbers is fully one third of the 1,522 registered voters surveyed favor repeal of the landmark legislation. While job losses and peoples’ difficulty obtaining affordable coverage provided popular support for the legislation, at the same time people are looking for immediate relief in a sour economy that isn’t forthcoming since most of the Act’s provisions don’t take effect until 2014. Take for example Amber Hall, an uninsured 41-year-old mother of two who lives near Modesto. Hall told the Sacramento Bee she supports the Act but isn’t sure she’ll will directly benefit from it — most likely because there’s little she can point to that helps her now.
This combined with residual opposition as shown by the high numbers of California voters who want the legislation scrapped could create political problems for the Act and lead to even more reform efforts. In that respect, the Act rather than being a permanent, comprehensive overhaul of how Americans are covered for medical treatment could instead end up serving as a framework or floor for additional reforms. Indeed, 58 percent of those in the Field Poll view the Act as only a first step with more reforms needed.
Need a speaker or webinar presenter on the Affordable Care Act and the outlook for health care reform? Contact Pilot Healthcare Strategies Principal Fred Pilot by email