On the five year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the March 2015 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds the gap between those who view the law favorably and those with an unfavorable point of view has narrowed to its lowest level. The latest poll finds 43 percent of Americans view the law negatively, while 41 percent view it more positively.
Most Americans continue to say the health reform law has not had a direct impact on them or their families, but 19 percent of the public says the law has helped their families and 22 percent say the ACA has hurt them. Republican respondents are more likely to report being adversely affected by the law, while Democrats are more likely to report being helped – both statistics consistent with previous Kaiser tracking polls.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a challenge to the health care law on March 4. The King v. Burwell case centers on whether or not the ACA bars financial assistance to low- and moderate income residents of states that rely on the federal health insurance marketplace, healthcare.gov, rather than a state-run marketplace.
As previously reported, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll after the Supreme Court hearings this month found more than half of those surveyed were not at all aware of the case, while 25 percent were somewhat aware. About one in five (22 percent) told the foundation they have heard at least something about the case. That number was up more than 50 percent from January.
With some Americans unaware of the need to report their health insurance on their 2014 federal taxes, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced a special enrollment period during tax season this year. The special enrollment, which extends through April 30, 2015, allows people who owe a tax penalty for not having health coverage in 2014 to buy coverage for 2015.