Americans blame reform for adverse trends

Many Americans surveyed fault the Affordable Care Act--as opposed to employers or the economy--for leaner but more costly health insurance and stagnant or worsened quality of care, according to recent polls released by the Associated Press in collaboration with research company GfK and the Healthcare Georgia Foundation.

Several polls over the last month have revealed low public confidence in the ACA, FierceHealthPayer reported.   

The latest survey results show 77 percent of respondents insured by employer plans or private offerings believe their health insurance benefits will change mostly for the worse going forward, citing concerns about eroding benefit packages. Sixty-nine percent of respondents said their premiums will rise, and 59 percent expect deductibles and co-payments to climb, AP noted.  

The AP-GfK poll occurred early this month after the Obama Administration announced repairs to federal health insurance enrollment website. The poll included online interviews with 1,367 adults belonging to GfK's nationally-representative knowledge panel, AP reported.     

"Rightly or wrongly, people with private insurance looking at next year are really worried about what is going to happen," Harvard professor Robert Blendon told the AP. "The website is not the whole story."

The ACA has been besieged by criticism not only for the messy release, but also for confusion following the cancellation and proposed reinstatement of non-compliant individual market plans, as FierceHealthPayer previously reported.    

Meanwhile, in a recent poll by the Healthcare Georgia Foundation, most Georgians surveyed reported satisfaction with the overall value of their current health insurance; but 47 percent of 400 respondents said their costs will rise under the ACA, reported Georgia Public Broadcasting.

Slightly more than half the respondents said the ACA won't make a difference in healthcare quality, while 30 percent expected quality to worsen under the healthcare reform law. And 45 percent of respondents said the state's decisions not to run its own online insurance exchange and not to expand its Medicaid program will cause them to pay more for healthcare, GPB reported.

For more:
- read the AP articles on poll results and methodology
- here's the GPB article