The enactment of healthcare reform has yet to soothe consumers’ anxiety about what the new regime will mean for them. That’s evident in polls conducted following passage of the bill. Several surveys asked people to say how they think the law will affect their own coverage and care. A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll is typical in finding a plurality of respondents expecting a worsening in the situation for themselves and their families. Thirty-nine percent think the new law will leave them and their family worse off, vs. 22 percent thinking it’ll leave them better off. Most of the rest said it won’t change their own circumstances own way or another.
Pushing respondents to look beyond the current controversy, a Washington Post poll asked them to assess how the law will affect them “in the long run.” Here again, people had a negative view of how it will affect them personally: 44 percent think “the quality of the healthcare you receive” will get worse over the long run, vs. 18 percent expecting it will get better. Likewise, 42 percent think their “health-insurance coverage” will get worse, vs. 17 percent saying it will get better. Respondents were significantly more upbeat on the issue of access to coverage: 48 percent think their “ability to get health insurance” will get better, while 25 percent believe it will get worse.
Cost is a particular concern. In Gallup polling, 50 percent of respondents said they think the law will mean “the costs you and your family pay for healthcare” will get worse, vs. 21 percent saying they’ll get better.