ACA Only One of Many Issues Affecting Voters' Decisions

The latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking survey of registered voters finds the ACA is only one of many issues considered in the choice of who they vote for.

Despite the debate about the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) among candidates running for president, the latest monthly healthcare tracking poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the ACA is only one of many issues affecting voters’ decision making on who they will support for president.

The poll of working-age adults with insurance found that 23% said it is extremely important, but only 4% of surveyed voters said it is the most important issue. Across all issues included in the poll, terrorism and the economy are the top two issues for voters at this point in the election cycle.

No matter which political party respondents identified with (including Independent), the ACA never ranked higher than fourth in what voters say will be their most important issue. Among registered voters, the ACA is the eighth in importance to voters. Among issues ranking higher are the personal cost of healthcare and health insurance, which 28% of voters say is extremely important to their vote.

The poll captured experiences of all insured Americans 18 to 64 years, not only those enrolled in ACA marketplace plans. It was conducted January 13 to 19, 2016, among a nationally representative random digit dial telephone sample of 1204 people. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish by landline (481) and cell phone (723). The margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points for the full sample.

Overall, public opinion on the law is closely split, with 44% having an unfavorable view and 41% having a favorable one. The poll found that the vast majority of respondents (87%) say there are “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with the choice of doctors in their plan’s network; 4% say they are “very dissatisfied.” Among this group, 12% say they had to change doctors in the past 12 months because their doctor wasn’t covered by their health insurance plan. This includes 5% who say the change was a big problem, 5% who say it was a small problem, and 1% who says it was not a problem.

Overall, most nonelderly Americans with insurance (74%) say that health insurance is worth the money it costs and 61% say their plan is an excellent or good value for what they pay for it.