As Republicans are working the Supreme Court to take Obamacare away from everyone in states that have not set up their own exchange, a new Commonwealth Fund survey has found that Obamacare is actually really liked. That is to say that 86% of people who have purchased private health plans on the Obamacare exchanges or who gained access to Medicaid are very satisfied or somewhat satisfied.
More than 8 out of 10 (86% to be exact) adults with marketplace or Medicaid insurance are satisfied with it.
About half of those with new coverage said they were better off now. I only bring this up because Republicans were snidely asking “Are you better off now?” As if somehow people were going to hate having healthcare.
I’m guessing Republicans don’t like the answer.
This is no small potato when it comes to elections either, as the Commonwealth Fund survey points out, “After the end of the Affordable Care Act’s second open enrollment period this spring, about 22 million people had enrolled in plans through the health insurance marketplaces or had newly enrolled in Medicaid.”
And later, survey says Obamacare is improving access to healthcare, “Survey evidence suggests ACA coverage is improving access. About 68 percent of adults currently enrolled in a marketplace plan or Medicaid sought care from a doctor or hospital or filled a prescription. Of those, 62 percent said they would not have been able to access or afford this care prior to getting their new insurance.”
Sixty-two percent said they wouldn’t have had access to this care before Obamacare. Republicans are working hard to take that away.
To bring this home, here’s an example of a real person helped by Obamacare: Debra Lea Oren of Palmer, Pennsylvania suffers from osteoarthritis “so severe it put her in a wheelchair, couldn’t walk or stand for years. She was in constant pain.” Obamacare helped her get out of the chair by giving her access to care. She wrote a letter to President Obama to beg him not to let Republicans “bully” him on Obamacare:
There are so many more whose lives have been changed for the better due to getting access to healthcare via Obamacare. The President’s healthcare reform saved and improved lives. There is no way to overstate its impact on real people.
The Commonwealth Fund survey also found that contrary to Republican fear-mongering, there is no “socialist” wait for a doctor and the majority are happy with their doctors:
The latest Commonwealth Fund Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey finds the share of uninsured working-age adults was 13 percent in March-May 2015, compared with 20 percent just before the major coverage expansions went into effect. More than half of adults who currently have coverage either through the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) marketplace plans or Medicaid expansion were uninsured prior to gaining coverage. Of those, more than 60 percent lacked coverage for one year or longer. More than six of 10 adults who used their new plans to obtain care reported they could not have afforded or accessed it previously. Majorities of people with ACA coverage who have used their plans express satisfaction with the doctors covered in their networks and are able to find physicians with relative ease. Wait times to get appointments with physicians in marketplace plans and Medicaid are comparable to those reported by other working-age adults.
Of course, things are not so great in red states where they didn’t expand Medicaid and many “adults” are still unaware of the Marketplace, subsidies and Medicaid expansion.
This would not be the case if Republicans hadn’t politicized Obamacare to the extent that they even threatened sports teams who offered to help educate American citizens about their options. We can also thank Fox News for keeping their cult in the dark. (I have run into multiple Fox News watchers who blame Obama for the failure of their Republican-led state to expand Medicaid.) And lastly we can thank the press for running with the drama of Republican fear-mongering instead of the real story that millions were suffering from a lack of access to healthcare due to an inability to get health insurance, even if they could pay for it.
Republicans are trying to take away insurance that 86% of Americans are satisfied with. Republicans said everyone would hate it and it would kill people, but neither of those predictions came true. As of yet, the press is not holding them accountable for their hysteria and flat out lies. It’s not like we needed a survey to know that people would like having access to healthcare. This is pure logic.
Meanwhile, Republicans still do not have an actual alternative to Obamacare. But they are working hard to kill it and thus harm the millions who are satisfied with their insurance.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.