Poll: Most Americans Want Obamacare Changed So People Can Keep Current Plans

United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll finds most people blame Obama administration for program’s rollout problems.

Tea Party member Janis Haddon of Atlanta, Georgia, tries to fend off Obamacare supporter Yasemin Ayarci (L) of Levittown, Pennsylvania, as Ayarci counter protests a Tea Party rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court of March 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court continued to hear oral arguments on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
National Journal
Scott Bland
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Scott Bland
Nov. 20, 2013, 5:15 p.m.

Nearly two-thirds of Amer­ic­ans say Con­gress should change the new health law to ful­fill Pres­id­ent Obama’s oft-stated prom­ise that people would be able to keep their in­sur­ance plans if they pre­ferred them, ac­cord­ing to the latest United Tech­no­lo­gies/Na­tion­al Journ­al Con­gres­sion­al Con­nec­tion Poll.

A large ma­jor­ity (64 per­cent) of those sur­veyed said Con­gress should amend the Af­ford­able Care Act to al­low people to “keep their cur­rent cov­er­age even if it doesn’t meet the law’s min­im­um stand­ards.” The poll found 31 per­cent dis­agreed, say­ing it’s more im­port­ant “that all in­sur­ance plans now meet a high­er stand­ard” un­der the law.

Demo­crats and Afric­an-Amer­ic­ans were the only ma­jor sub­groups in which few­er than half of re­spond­ents said the law should be changed. But very nar­row plur­al­it­ies of those groups (48 per­cent of blacks and 49 per­cent of Demo­crats) still said Obama­care should be altered to let more people keep their cur­rent in­sur­ance plans.

The pre­val­ence of that opin­ion high­lights the polit­ic­al trouble fa­cing Obama and Demo­crats after news of policy can­cel­la­tions pro­lif­er­ated over the last few weeks. The pres­id­ent apo­lo­gized for the broken prom­ise and said his ad­min­is­tra­tion would take ex­ec­ut­ive ac­tion to tem­por­ar­ily pre­vent in­sur­ance can­cel­la­tions, but Re­pub­lic­ans have hammered House and Sen­ate Demo­crats who have made the same prom­ise over the last four years — and who face reelec­tion, un­like Obama.

“The Amer­ic­an people feel very misled, and a bond of trust has been broken with the pres­id­ent and Demo­crat­ic lead­ers in the House,” said Greg Walden, Na­tion­al Re­pub­lic­an Con­gres­sion­al Com­mit­tee chair­man, at a Chris­ti­an Sci­ence Mon­it­or event last week.

Mean­while, more than half of the poll re­spond­ents said the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion was most to blame for the tech­nic­al prob­lems plaguing the launch of the fed­er­al health in­sur­ance ex­changes. Fifty-one per­cent said that “poor plan­ning and su­per­vi­sion by the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion” was most to blame for the struggles, while 31 per­cent said “tech­nic­al prob­lems … are al­ways part of a com­plex com­puter sys­tem” and an­oth­er 13 per­cent said “a lack of ad­equate fund­ing by Con­gress” was the main reas­on for Obama­care’s im­ple­ment­a­tion struggles.

The same sub­groups that least called for changes to the law — Demo­crats and Afric­an-Amer­ic­ans — were also the only groups that blamed a factor oth­er than the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion for Obama­care’s rocky in­sur­ance-ex­change launch.

The United Tech­no­lo­gies/Na­tion­al Journ­al Con­gres­sion­al Con­nec­tion Poll, con­duc­ted by Prin­ceton Sur­vey Re­search As­so­ci­ates In­ter­na­tion­al, sur­veyed 1,013 adults by land­line and cell phone from Nov. 14-17. It has a mar­gin of er­ror of plus or minus 3.6 per­cent­age points.

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