A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Support for Health Care Law remains steady in Kentucky; attitudes vary by political affiliation

More Kentucky adults have positive opinions about the Affordable Care Act than negative, according to the 2018 Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP).

The survey, sponsored by Interact for Health and Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, found that 4 in 10 Kentucky adults (44%) view the law favorably, compared with more than 3 in 10 (33%) who said they view the legislation unfavorably. An additional 2 in 10 (22%) said that they didn’t know.

KHIP has been tracking opinions on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called the ACA or Obamacare, since 2010. The 2017 survey marked the first time that more Kentucky adults viewed health care reform favorably than unfavorably.

Kentucky adults feel somewhat less positive about the ACA than those surveyed nationwide. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2018 Health Tracking Poll, 53% of Americans had a favorable opinion of the law and 40% had an unfavorable opinion.

“At Interact for Health, we are focused on improving health outcomes for all people,” said O’dell Moreno Owens, M.D., M.P.H., President and CEO. “We know that a lack of adequate coverage makes it difficult for people to get the health care they need and, when they do get care, burdens them with large medical bills. With health insurance, individuals gain entry to our health care system, which in turn allows them to promote and maintain health, prevent and manage disease, and reduce unnecessary disability and premature death.”

Other findings:

· Nearly 6 in 10 Kentucky adults (56%) said that they had sufficient information about the ACA to understand how it would impact them, compared with four in 10 (41%) who said they did not have enough information.

· Among all Kentucky adults, half (53%) reported that the law had no direct impact on them or their families. Two in 10 (18%) reported that the law impacted them favorably, and another 2 in 10 (21%) reported that the law impacted them unfavorably.

· When looking at the impact of the ACA, the survey found that views varied by political party. Three in 10 Democrats (31%) reported the law had positively affected them or their families, while only 1 in 10 Republicans reported being positively affected (11%).
“The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was designed to reduce the number of people without insurance coverage. As state and federal policymakers consider the future of health care in Kentucky and the nation, it’s important to understand public opinion regarding such legislation,” said Owens.

“Decisions made about health coverage have a wide-reaching impact, both on people and on our pocketbooks.”
About the Kentucky Health Issues Poll

The 2018 Kentucky Health Issues Poll was funded by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Interact for Health. It was conducted Aug. 26-Oct. 21, 2018, by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati. A random sample of 1,569 adults from throughout Kentucky was interviewed by telephone. This included 697 landline interviews and 872 interviews with cell phone users. In 95 of 100 cases, the statewide estimates will be accurate to ±2.5%. There are other sources of variation inherent in public opinion studies, such as nonresponse, question wording or context effects that can introduce error or bias. For more information about the Kentucky Health Issues Poll, please visit www.healthy-ky.org or www.interactforhealth.org/about-khip/.

Interact for Health

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