More base PPACA impressions on personal experienceNews added by Benefits Pro on July 2, 2014

Benefits Pro

Joined: September 07, 2011

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By Dan Cook

Has the news media grown weary of writing about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? Or is the public actually learning about the law through personal experience? Perhaps a bit of both is happening.

The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, which queried 1,200 adults about their impressions of PPACA, found that more people said they were basing their opinion on PPACA on personal experience, or from what they were hearing from friends and family, than from the media.

The shift was palpable. In February 2013, 45 percent said they based their impression on news coverage; 36 percent said impressions came from personal experience or friends and family. In June, media influence dropped to 37 percent, while personal/friends and family rose to 48 percent.

“For the first time in Kaiser tracking, the combined share basing their impression on their own experience or that of family and friends is larger than the share who report basing their view mostly on the media,” Kaiser said.

Kaiser cited two potential reasons for the shift: “As implementation proceeds, more people may be having direct experience with the law themselves or through their loved ones. It’s also possible that as coverage of the law has been out of the media spotlight for the last few months, fewer people are hearing about it in the news, resulting in a declining share who report taking cues from the media.”

Kaiser said the public’s attitude toward PPACA hasn’t changed much over the last few months. Unfavorable views were held by 45 percent of those surveyed, down from 50 percent in January. Those who favor it rose from 34 percent in January to 39 percent in June. The rest didn’t have an opinion.

“Views continue to be polarized by political party, with a large majority of Democrats having a favorable view (66 percent), a large majority of Republicans unfavorable (74 percent), and independents in the middle but mostly negative (31 percent favorable, 53 percent unfavorable),” Kaiser said.

Asked whether PPACA has had a direct impact on themselves or their families, 62 percent said it hadn’t in January, while 53 percent said it had not when asked in June, “perhaps indicating more people are starting to see the law having a direct or indirect impact on them and their families.”

More people believe PPACA has helped themselves or their family: that number rose from 12 percent to 18 percent in the January-June comparison. “Worse off” responses rose slightly, from 24 percent to 26 percent.

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