Watch CBSN Live

Poll: Both uninsured, insured skeptical about Obamacare

CBS News poll: Americans still have doubts ab... 03:16

By Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Anthony Salvanto and Fred Backus

Skepticism about the health care law extends to both insured and uninsured Americans, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll. Both groups disapprove of the law overall, and while the uninsured are more positive about the law’s personal impact than those with insurance, more still think the law will hurt rather than help them. CBS News and The New York Times interviewed 702 adults who do not have health insurance for this poll. 

Just 15 percent of insured Americans think the health care law will help them personally, but that number rises to 33 percent among the uninsured. Still, more uninsured Americans think the health care law will hurt them (37 percent).  Thirty-two percent of insured Americans say it'll hurt them.  Overall, 46 percent feel it will have no effect (49 percent of insured Americans, 27 percent of uninsured).

Views are mixed on the impact the health care law will have on the nation’s health care system. A third of uninsured Americans think the law will improve the health care system, but just as many say it will make the system worse. Insured Americans are not especially optimistic either: 37 percent think it will improve the health care system, 39 percent say it'll make it worse.

As reported in a CBS News/New York Times Poll last week, more Americans continue to disapprove (50 percent) than approve (39 percent) of the 2010 health care law.  The intention of the Affordable Care Act may have been to help those without insurance obtain it, but Americans without health insurance (53 percent) are just as likely as those with insurance (51 percent) to disapprove of the law.  Only 38 percent of uninsured Americans approve of Obamacare; 40 percent of those with insurance approve.

There are some political differences as well. Most Republicans think they will be hurt by the law (57 percent) and that it will make the health care system worse (72 percent). Democrats are more likely to say the law will help them (27 percent) rather than hurt (13 percent), and 65 percent think the law will make the health care system better. As has been the case, most Republicans disapprove of the law, while most Democrats approve.


The general population portion of this poll was conducted by telephone December 5-8, 2013 among 1,000 adults nationwide. The error due to sampling for the general population portion of the poll could be plus or minus 3 percentage points.

An additional sample of people age 19-64 without health insurance was also interviewed, for a total of 702 interviews with the uninsured. Those interviews were conducted by telephone December 4-15. 2013.  The data was weighted to reflect the demographic and regional distribution of the uninsured according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  The margin of error for the sample of the uninsured is plus or minus 5 percentage points.

The sample size for those with health insurance is 895; the margin of error for the insured is plus or minus percentage 3 points.

For both the general population and uninsured portions of the poll, phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish.  Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News and the New York Times by Social Science Research Solutions of Media, Pa.  This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.