As deadline arrives, Americans still disapprove of Obamacare

By Jennifer De Pinto

Four years after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted, the deadline (albeit somewhat fluid) to sign up for health exchanges is here, and a majority of Americans continue to oppose the law: 53 percent disapprove, while 41 percent approve, according to the latest CBS News Poll.

Since the law was passed in March 2010, more have consistently disapproved than approved of it. Public support has never reached the 50 percent mark.

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In an attempt to enroll healthier people into the health are exchanges, the Obama administration has been targeting young adults to sign up, but what do they think of the law?

Well, they don't like it so much.

Despite young Americans' overall support for President Obama (48 percent approve of the job the president is doing - the highest of any age group, 60 percent say he's a strong leader, and a slim majority even approve of his handling of health care as an issue), they are not enthusiastic about the ACA: 42 percent approve of it, but more (50 percent) disapprove -- opinions were similar in January. Young Americans' views on the health care law do not differ much from those who are older.

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Like Americans overall, young people support many elements of the ACA (coverage of pre-existing conditions, standards for health plans), but are strongly opposed to the individual mandate requiring nearly all Americans to get health care coverage. 66 percent disapprove of it, according to a December CBS News/New York Times poll.

Cost is a concern. That same poll also found that while a majority (53 percent) of Americans under age 30 thinks getting health insurance may improve the quality of their health, three in four (76 percent) say getting that coverage will hurt them financially.

After the much-publicized troubled roll-out of HealthCare.gov, young people hold negative perceptions of how the signup on the exchanges is going - just 26 percent think the process is going well in the recent CBS News poll, while 39 percent don't think it is.

But do these negative opinions mean younger Americans won't sign up? Not necessarily. Late last year, CBS News and the New York Times surveyed uninsured Americans and found 56 percent of the uninsured said they planned to get insurance, including 61 percent of those Americans under age 30. A third, however, said they'll pay the fine.

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