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Many Americans are not impressed with the Health Care System, Polls Find

Update Date: Feb 29, 2016 10:39 AM EST
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Many Americans have remained unimpressed with the health care system, a series of polls conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found.

The polls, which set out to examine public opinion on the health care system since the introduction of the Affordable Care Act two years ago, found that while many people believed the ACA helped, roughly the same amount of people thought that it ended up hurting people instead.

"The proportion of U.S. adults who believe the law helped people in their state about equals the proportion who believe it hurt them," Robert J. Blendon, Richard L. Menschel Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis at Harvard T.H. Chan School, said reported by NPR. "On the other hand, on a personal level, most Americans do not believe the law directly affected them."

Data came from seven polls that were carried out in Florida, Kansas, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Wisconsin where about 1,000 state residents were reached. An additional poll of 1,002 people was conducted on a national level. All participants were contacted from Sept. 8 to Nov. 9, 2015.

The researchers found that on a national level, 72 percent of the participants stated that they believed that they received good value for what they paid toward health care. 22 percent did not agree. In terms of benefits, one in six adults reported receiving more benefits since the ACA. 12 percent said their benefits declined.

Participants' views on health care were greatly affected by their income. 34 percent of low-income adults - making less than $25,000 per year per household - said they received fair or poor health care. Only 13 percent of adults with higher income said the same thing.

Other poll findings from the national surgery found:

-45 percent reported an increase in their insurance premiums.

-35 percent said their copays and deductibles went up.

-15 percent said they did not get health care at least once over the past two years when they needed it. 35 percent of this group of people said they could not find a doctor who took their health insurance. 23 percent did not have insurance.

-33 percent received care from an emergency room.

"Though the poll finds that most people are relatively satisfied with the health care they personally receive, a substantial number have problems paying their medical bills and accessing needed care," Blendon said. "And a surprising share of Americans, particularly those with low incomes, say they face problems with the quality of care they receive."

Overall, 46 percent of adults rated their care as good and 33 percent rated it as excellent. Although adults appeared to like the care they received, they still did not like the health care system. 42 percent stated that the health care system in their state was fair or poor.

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