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People like the ACA

 

August 7 2014

The fact of the matter is this: People like the ACA (Obamacare). The survey released by the Kaiser Foundation saying otherwise is invalid. I explain why.

==The survey==

When the Kaiser Family Foundation released a survey this month showing a jump in the number of people who do not like the ACA, a lot of press reports discussed how people are liking the law less. What the press reports failed to do was look closely at how the survey was done. I did.

==Methodology==

There was a big disclaimer on the last page of that Kaiser survey (the “endnotes” tab when viewing in a browser), and I’m disappointed that no one has caught it: “The change in the share with an unfavorable view may be at least partially attributable to a change in question order in this month’s survey. In the July poll, the ACA favorability question was asked after two questions about national issues, while in the June poll it was the first question on the survey. It’s possible that for some respondents, hearing these preceding questions may have changed the way they interpreted and answered the ACA favorability question.”

In plain English, the only useful information this survey gives us is that, when you change how a survey is run, you will get different results.

Indeed, when you look at satisfaction vs. dissatisfaction numbers, dissatisfaction jumped up last October when the news about the ACA website having problems made the rounds, but have been steadily decreasing every month, and only jumped up again this month when the Kaiser poll changed how they asked the questions.

My speculation is that most people don’t have that strong of an opinion on the ACA, to the point they change how they feel depending on the order of questions in a survey.

==Another survey==

Meanwhile, the Commonwealth Fund’s July survey shows a high level of satisfaction with Obamacare, ranging from 74% to 87%:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/11/upshot/newest-health-insurance-customers-are-generally-happy.html?_r=1
==My experience with the ACA==

As an hourly contractor, I am glad to have the ACA because it keeps me covered at half the cost it would have cost me before the ACA kicked in at the beginning of this year.

==Conclusion==

Don’t put any trust in the results of a survey without carefully reviewing how it was conducted.

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