Kaiser December Tracking Poll: Public Remains Divided on Health Reform Law; Significant Number of People Struggle Financially
As 2010 draws to a close, the latest tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows the public still divided in their views of the health reform law, a sentiment largely unchanged since the law’s enactment in March. Forty-two percent of Americans say they have a generally favorable view of the law, while 41 percent have a generally unfavorable view of it. As the weak economy continues, the survey finds that a significant number of people are struggling to stay afloat financially. One in four say their household has had trouble paying medical bills over the past year, and 54 percent say they have delayed needed medical care because of cost. Such problems are more prevalent among lower income and uninsured Americans, 36 percent and 48 percent of whom, respectively, report having trouble paying medical bills. Among the uninsured, 85 percent say they have put off needed care because of cost. Beyond health care, many people report having problems getting a good-paying job or a pay raise (41%); losing money in the stock market (35%); suffering cutbacks in pay or work hours (32%); having trouble paying their rent or mortgage (25%); losing a job (23%); and having problems paying for food (23%).