Today American Viewpoint continues its series of releases from a recent national online survey with a look at public opinion on various aspects of the state health exchanges that are scheduled to launch in October 2013.
Just four months prior to the launch of the health exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act, many voters are skeptical that state or federal governments can run the exchanges so that they function properly, and few agree that competition in the exchanges will drive down costs or that health insurance policies will have better benefits than those currently available to most people.
- Only 36% agree, while 44% disagree that the state or federal government will be able to administer the exchanges so that they will function properly.
- In terms of outcomes, just 38% agree and 45% disagree that competition between health plans in the exchanges will drive down the cost of health insurance premiums.
- Even fewer (32%) agree, while 48% disagree that health insurance policies will have better benefits than those currently available to most people.
- In addition to their doubts about the benefits of the exchanges, a majority of voters (59%) agree that the exchanges are a first step toward government-run healthcare. Just 24% disagree.
- Corresponding with the Obama Administration’s decision to delay the implementation of the employer mandate, voters express a high level of concern (56%) that many employers will stop offering health insurance to employees if the penalty under the ACA is less costly than offering health insurance benefits.
Majorities of most major subgroups are very or somewhat concerned that many employers will decide to pay the $2,000 per employee penalty rather than providing health insurance to employees if the company’s cost is lower. This includes Republicans (63%), Independents (61%) and a near majority of Democrats (49%).
High levels of concern also appear across the ideological spectrum including liberals (55%), moderates (54%) and conservatives (66%). Not surprisingly, lower and middle income voters are more concerned (61%) than those earning $75,000 or more (50%). Voters with a small business affiliation also exhibit a high level of concern (61%). Majorities in every region and age group are concerned about this possibility. Indeed, a majority of those who favor the ACA (55%) are concerned that employers will pay the penalty rather than providing health insurance to employees.
To see the survey results for these questions as well as the actual question wording, please click HERE.
The survey was conducted via online interviewing June 14-17, 2013 of registered voters nationwide. The margin of error for a random sample (n=1000) is +/- 3.1% at the 95% confidence level. The margin of error among sub-groups is greater.
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