October 11, 2013

Poll: Americans pan Obamacare rollout

Only 7 percent said it went extremely or very well

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON – The debut of the government’s health insurance marketplaces drew a huge audience – and underwhelming reviews.

click image to enlarge

In this photo taken Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, President Barack Obama defends the shaky rollout of his health care law. He said frustrated Americans "definitely shouldn't give up" on the problem-plagued program.

File photo/The Associated Press

Just 7 percent of Americans say the rollout of the health exchanges has gone extremely well or very well, according to an AP-GfK poll.

The reaction was somewhat better among supporters of the new health care law, but still middling: 19 percent said the rollout went extremely well or very well.

Among the uninsured – a key audience for the health exchanges – 42 percent said they didn’t know enough to judge how well the rollout had gone, suggesting an ongoing lack of awareness about the program in its early days.

Despite the bumpy rollout, plenty of Americans are giving the system a try.

Seven percent of Americans reported that somebody in their household has tried to enroll through the health care exchanges, according to the poll.

While that’s a small percentage, it could represent more than 20 million people.

Three-fourths of those who tried to sign up reported problems, though, and that’s reflected in the poor reviews.

George Spinner, 60, a retiree from Ruther Glen, Va., said he managed to create an online account and password before he got stuck. “It kept telling me there was an error,” he said.

Reynol Rodriguez, 51, a San Antonio computer technician, said he was able to do some comparison shopping online but computer glitches kept him from signing up. “I was very much looking forward to it,” said Rodriguez.

Among those who’ve actually tested out the system, only about 1 in 10 succeeded in buying health insurance, the poll found. A quarter of those who tried to buy coverage weren’t sure whether they’d succeeded.

The AP-GfK Poll, conducted Oct. 3-7,t involved online interviews with 1,227 adults. The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points for all respondents. For results among the 76 respondents who attempted to use health insurance markets, the margin of error is plus or minus 13.5 percentage points.

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