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Majority of Americans blame increasing premiums on Obamacare

Healthcare.gov December 2013

President Barack Obama claimed earlier this year only 10-to-15 percent of Americans — the uninsured — would have to worry about the Affordable Care Act. But a new poll found that 4-in-5 have seen changes in their health insurance and say its the negative consequences of Obamacare.

According to an Associated Press-GfK poll, 77 percent of Americans who receive private health coverage attribute the rising cost of their premiums and deductibles to the Affordable Care Act. Since the Obama administration’s signature law rolled out, millions have reported a substantial increase in the cost of their health plans.

“Rightly or wrongly, people with private insurance looking at next year are really worried about what is going to happen,” Robert Blendon, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, told The Associated Press. “The website is not the whole story.”

The Affordable Care Act’s primary goal is to provide health insurance to those who do not have it. As the White House geared up for its push to provide universal health coverage through Obamacare, the President noted an estimated 85 percent of Americans would not have to worry about the law as they already received private coverage, whether through their employer, spouse’s employer or other means.

However, 3-in-4 of those polled by the Associated Press-GfK believe the rollout of the Affordable Care Act has gone poorly. The law’s implementation has been plagued with a glitch-filled federal-exchange website, healthcare.gov, and enrollment figures for the months of October and November fell way below the administration’s projections — only 365,000 chose health plans in both the state-run and federal marketplaces. The White House projected 3.3 million would have chosen plans by Dec. 30.

Of those with job-based or other private coverage, 69 percent said their premiums are set to increase. Fifty-nine percent reported their deductibles rising, also.

In addition to the disastrous implementation of the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans with received notices of cancelled plans from insurance companies, forcing them into Obamacare’s exchanges. The wave of notices cast a looming shadow on President Obama, as he promised — multiple times — that under the Affordable Care Act, Americans would be able to retain their health plans if they liked them. His broken promise earned the designation of “Lie of the Year” by PolitiFact.

But in an attempt to right his wrong, the President granted a year-long extension to insurance companies, allowing them to continue offering current plans to consumers until 2015.

Though the White House has been able to work out many kinks in the law’s implementation, a mere 11 percent of those polled by the Associated Press-GfK said they or someone in their household had attempted to sign up for health insurance on the exchanges.

The AP-GfK Poll was a nationwide survey of 1,367 adults via online interviews from Dec. 5-9, 2013. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 3.5 percentage points.

 


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