A Year And A Half After Health Care Reform, 49% Still Don’t Understand The Plan

August 31, 2011, 5:00 PM GMT+0

Many Americans remain confused about what last year’s health care reform legislation means to them, and the latest Economist/YouGov Poll finds little change in the last year in opinions about what it means to them and whether or not it should be repealed.

51% say they understand the health care reform legislation passed last March at least fairly well — though only 10% say they understand it very well. Last September, as health care reform was about to become a major part of many Congressional campaigns, 56% of Americans claimed to understand it fairly well or better. 

In fact, there has been little change in opinion about health care reform in the last year. Americans continue to be worried about costs and coverage. Nearly three times as many Americans continue to believe it will make their own health care worse than will make it better; 51% think their own health care expenses will rise. Those answers are not much different than those they expressed a year ago. 

Although most of the changes in health care coverage required by the health care reform legislation will not go into effect for at least another year, 23% say they already have been personally affected by health care reform — and not for the better. But there is a partisan cast to the characterization of the impact.

Nearly twice as many Republicans (34%) as Democrats (18%) claim to have been affected by the health care reform legislation, with 79% of those Republicans claiming that the impact has been negative. 

Still, most Americans are satisfied with their health care coverage: 64% are very or somewhat satisfied, and just 24% are not. Last August, 61% were satisfied, while 29% were not.

Just 37% approve of the way the President has handled this issue; 52% disapprove. His rating on this issue, like concerns about the health care reform bill, has not changed much in the last year. 

And when asked which party they trust more on the issue of health care, Americans continue to give Democrats the edge. In this week’s poll, 35% say the Democrats are best on the issue, nearly twice as many as the 19% who choose the Republicans. 

Economist/YouGov poll archives can found here.

Photo source: Press Association

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