Kentuckians’ views on the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Poll data released in December by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Interact for Health indicate half (50 percent) of Kentuckians report the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has not had an impact on them or their families, down from 66 percent in 2013. Nearly a quarter (23 percent) report the ACA has positively affected them (up from seven percent in 2013). The number of those reporting that the ACA has negatively affected them has generally remained steady since 2013 and now stands at 23 percent.

The number of Kentuckians with a favorable opinion of the ACA has grown since 2010, from 26 percent to 41 percent.  Nearly half (46 percent) continue to have unfavorable views of the law while those who say they do not know has decreased from 26 percent to 14 percent.

KHIP highlights include:

  • Half of Kentucky adults (50 percent) report no personal impact from the ACA.
  • Nearly four in ten (37 percent) Kentucky adults living at or below 138 percent  of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) report a positive impact from ACA; 27 percent  living between 138 percent  and 200 percent  FPL report positive impact and 12 percent  above 200 percent  FPL indicate positive impact.
  • Half (51 percent ) report not having enough information to understand how the law will affect them. This figure is down from 72 percent  in 2010.
  • A majority of Democrats (61 percent ) have favorable views of the ACA; a majority of Republicans (66 percent ) have unfavorable views. Views among Independents are split: 42 percent unfavorable and 43 percent  favorable.

As part of the ACA, Kentuckians can compare and enroll in insurance plans via kynect, Kentucky’s online marketplace for health insurance. They can also use kynect to apply for expanded Medicaid and the Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program (KCHIP). In the first year of kynect, 413,410 Kentuckians enrolled in new health insurance coverage.

Responses varied when Kentucky adults were asked how much they had heard about kynect. More than one-third (35 percent) reported hearing a lot about kynect. About two in ten (22 percent) had heard some and four in ten (43 percent) had heard only a little or nothing about kynect.

The KHIP findings in Kentucky are similar to national views of the healthcare law.  The September 2015 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll reported that 45 percent had unfavorable views, 41 percent had favorable views and 14 percent  did not know/refused.

KHIP was funded by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Interact for Health.  The poll was conducted September 17, 2015-October 7, 2015, by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati.  A random sample of 1,608 adults from throughout Kentucky was interviewed by telephone, including landlines and cell phones.  The poll has a margin of error of ±2.4 percent.


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