NPR poll finds most Americans feel ACA had no personal impact


Americans are divided on the effects of the Affordable Care Act within their communities, according to a recent poll from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Boston-based Harvard Chan School of Public Health.

Slightly more than a third of those surveyed (35 percent) felt the ACA has helped residents of their states, while more than a quarter (27 percent) felt it directly hurt people and 21 percent felt it had no impact, according to the report. However, on a personal level, the majority (56 percent) felt it had no direct impact.

Here are seven more findings from the poll.

  • Most people — 79 percent — feel the healthcare they receive is good or excellent.
  • Satisfaction is lower among people with annual household incomes of less than $25,000. Only 62 percent reported excellent or good healthcare, and among those with annual household incomes of $25,000 or more, 86 percent reported good or excellent care.
  • On average, 16 percent of Americans feel their healthcare benefits have increased in the past year, 70 percent feel they have stayed the same and 12 percent feel they have decreased.
  • Americans feel the most unreasonable costs are associated with emergency room visits. Thirty-six percent of those surveyed felt ER costs were unreasonable, compared to 30 percent who felt overnight hospitalization costs were unreasonable, 21 percent who felt urgent care center costs were unreasonable and 20 percent who felt physician visit costs were unreasonable.
  • Just 8 percent felt retail or drug store mini-clinic costs were unreasonable.
  • Among those who did not get healthcare when they needed it (15 percent) it was more commonly because they could not find a physician who accepted their insurance (35 percent) than because they were uninsured (23 percent).
  • The No. 1 reason respondents chose the ER for care in the past two years was because other facilities were not open or the patient could not get an appointment.

Approximately 1,000 people from each of the following states participated in phone interviews for the survey: Florida, Kansas, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Wisconsin.


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