(CNSNews.com) – The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, was launched five years ago but more Americans today say they are unhappy with the law than those who claim to be happy with it, a recent Gallup poll confirmed.
The survey also showed that in the half-decade the law has been in place, support for it has never surpassed 48 percent, and in November 2014, only 37 percent of Americans said they approved of Obamacare.
In the latest survey, conducted April 1-4, only 44 percent of Americans said they approved of the law, while 50 percent said they disapproved. According to Gallup, even after President Obama was elected in November 2012, support for the law peaked at 48 percent.
The number of those who say they approve of the law has risen since the poll was last taken in November 2014, when Obamacare's approval rating was at a record low of 37 percent. At the time, 56 percent of Americans said they disapproved of the law.
While approval numbers have risen in recent months, Gallup notes the American view of Obamacare “remains negative.”
“The shift in attitudes over the past four months may reflect the public's awareness of data showing that the percentage of Americans who are uninsured has dropped substantially since the ACA-mandated open enrollment periods for obtaining insurance began to take effect,” Gallup notes.
Additionally, only 17 percent of those polled said Obamacare has helped them, while 23 percent say it has hurt their health care. Another 57 report the law has had no effect on them.
“Although opinions of the ACA have become somewhat more positive, Americans' attitudes about the law's impact on their own personal healthcare have not shown much change,” Gallup reported. “The majority of Americans continue to say the law has had no effect on their healthcare so far, while the percentage who say it has hurt their situation continues to be marginally higher than the percentage who say it has helped.”
Gallup also divided its findings into four age categories: 18 to 29, 30 to 49, 50 to 64, and over 65. Of these, only those in the 18 to 29 age range report that the President’s signature health care law has helped their situation, with 22 percent approving. Another 18 percent say the law has hurt them, while 58 percent say it has had no effect.
Gallup also noted that only 13 percent of white Americans report that Obamacare has helped them, compared to 27 percent who say the law has had a negative effect. Conversely, 26 percent of black Americans report being helped by the law compared with only 5 percent who say it has been negative. In similar fashion, 27 percent of Hispanics reported being helped by the law, with 16 percent reporting having been hurt by it.
Only 37 percent of those polled said Obamacare would make the national health care situation better, while 43 percent said they believed it would make things worse. Another 16 percent said the law would ultimately make no difference.
In its analysis of its poll on the president’s “controversial” health care law, Gallup said, “Throughout this controversy, Americans as a whole remain more negative than positive about the Affordable Care Act and its impact on their lives and the national healthcare situation.”
“Americans who are more likely to be affected by the ACA, including young people, lower-income groups and minorities, are at least slightly more likely than others to be positive about the impact of the ACA on their healthcare situations, although significant percentages of most of these groups still say the ACA has hurt them,” Gallup added.
For this survey, Gallup polled 2,040 adults by phone in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. between April 1-4. Gallup reports a margin of error of ±3 percentage points with a 95 percent confidence level.