Poll: Seven Million Obamacare Enrollees Don’t Improve Polls

TO:        Interested Parties
FR:         Michael Ramlet, Kyle Dropp and Meghan McCarthy
DT:        April 8, 2014
RE:         Public Opinion Following the 7.1M Enrollment Announcement – April 2014 Tracking Poll

The Obama administration achieved its goal of enrolling 7+ million Americans on state and federally run health insurance exchanges last month, but reaching that milestone had little impact on public attitudes toward the law, according to polling from Morning Consult.

Over the past five months, Morning Consult has polled approximately 10,000 Americans overall and 2,400 who reported visiting an online health insurance exchange. More than half of those who said they visited an exchange, 55 percent, are under 45 years old. Additionally, exchange visitors and individuals who reported purchasing insurance via an exchange are more likely to be African American or Hispanic than the population at large.

The April tracking poll was conducted from April 3-6, 2014, among a national sample of 1,906 likely voters. The interviews were conducted online by Survey Sampling International, Inc. The data were weighted to approximate a target sample of likely voters based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, region, annual household income, home ownership status, and marital status. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points. The sample sizes for the other national polls cited in this memo are as follows: March 2014 (n=2,192), January 2014 (n=2,158), December 2013 (n=1,964), November 2013 (n=2,008), September 2013 (n=1,976), August 2013 (n=1,989), and July 2013 (n=2,076)


7.1 Million Enrollment Announcement Offers Limited Headline Value for the White House:

Approval of the health reform law among Independents remained constant at 32 and 33 percent in March and April polling, respectively. Seventy-five percent of Democrats approve the law, about the same as in March (73 percent). Only 9 percent of Republicans approve of the law today, compared to 11 percent in March.


Exchange Experiences Stay Elevated in April: Fifty-five percent of respondents who visited an online health insurance exchange said their overall experience was “Very positive” or “Somewhat positive” in the March poll, compared with 57 percent in March 2014, 56 percent in January 2014, 50 percent in December 2013, and 52 percent in November 2013.

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Demographics and Health Status of Exchange Purchasers: Over the past five months, Morning Consult has polled approximately 2,400 Americans who reported visiting an exchange. More than half of those who said they visited an exchange, 55 percent, are under 45 years old. The largest single age group to visit the exchanges is adults 45 to 64 years of age, at 38 percent.  But a sizeable majority of individuals who said they purchased health insurance, 62 percent, are under 45.

More than half of respondents who purchased health insurance on the exchange, 54 percent, reported that they or a family member had a pre-existing condition and had been denied health insurance based on that condition.  People who reported a pre-existing condition that kept them or a family member from getting insurance coverage visited an exchange at nearly three times the rate of those who did not visit an exchange.


Self-reported health status did not vary much among people who visited exchanges and those who did not. Of those who did visit an exchange, 68 percent said their health was ‘excellent’ or ‘very good,’ compared to 52 percent of those who did not visit an exchange.


African Americans accounted for nearly a one-fifth of people who visited an exchange, at 18 percent. By contrast, only 11 percent of people who did not visit an exchange were African American. Survey respondents who identified as Hispanic also made up a larger portion of exchange visitors, at 16 percent, versus 12 percent of the group of people who did not visit an exchange.

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Meghan McCarthy

Meghan McCarthy is the Editor-In-Chief of Morning Consult. You can reach Meghan at [email protected]

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