Interest in Obamacare Increases

Despite the many glitches with the launch of the Affordable Care Act's open enrollment, the newest Reuters/Ipsos poll finds that uninsured people are "showing more interest in the coverage offered under President Barack Obama's healthcare law."
The uninsured view the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, more favorably since online marketplaces opened - 44 percent compared with 37 percent in September, according to the Reuters/Ipsos poll. It found that 56 percent oppose the program compared with 63 percent in September.

A higher proportion of the uninsured also said they are interested in buying insurance on the exchanges, with 42 percent in October, saying they were likely to enroll compared with 37 percent in September.
At Think Progress, Tara Culp-Ressler has a great piece on "Why Obamacare Isn't Losing Popularity Even after a Month of Really Bad Press." She notes, in part:
One of the Ipsos pollsters, Chris Jackson, offered up a plausible theory: Americans are finally having a personal experience with health reform. "The launch of the exchanges, that's the first real world event for a lot of people," he told Reuters. "There's been this sense that once people got familiar with it, public opinion would start to move in its direction."

...People with employer-sponsored health insurance have already interacted with some of the benefits put in place by Obamacare, like no-cost preventative services and increased consumer protections. But the beginning of the exchanges' open enrollment period was a massive expansion of the pool of people who stand to directly benefit from health reform, which has allowed even more Americans to have that "personal experience" that Jackson referenced. It makes sense that's preventing Obamacare's approval from plummeting, despite a roll-out that's been widely panned.
All true. Additionally, I think there's something even simpler than that at play: The reason Obamacare continues to pique people's interest is because lots of people still don't have access to affordable (or any) healthcare, and, for millions of them, Obamacare represents their best option for establishing that access.

As I've said previously, it isn't relevant, on an individual interest level, how flawed the Affordable Care Act is (and, in my opinion, it's deeply flawed), because uninsured people's choice isn't between the more desirable universal socialized healthcare and the less desirable Affordable Healthcare Act. Their choice is between the Affordable Healthcare Act and no health coverage at all.

That makes it a pretty damn attractive option, given the actual, practical, immediate options.

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