KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Polls Show Continued Public Skepticism About Health Law

While slightly fewer than half of those polled by the Wall Street Journal and NBC think the law is a bad idea, only 21 percent want it repealed. Meanwhile, former President Bill Clinton criticized media coverage of the law, saying news organizations do a disservice by building a narrative and never straying from it, regardless of the facts.

The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: Obamacare Ratings Steady Despite Busy Month -- WSJ/NBC Poll
Some 36 percent think the law is a good idea -- the same as in March 2010, when the law passed -- but up a bit from the 31 percent who supported it last September just before the law’s rollout. A steady 46 percent think the law is a bad idea, down slightly from the 50 percent peak in December 2013, but up a bit from 44 percent in September. Americans still feel that even if they don’t like the law, they don’t want it repealed. Only 21 percent of respondents thought it should be totally eliminated. Instead, 40 percent wanted to see “minor modifications to improve it” and another 28 percent said it needed a “major overhaul” (Radnofsky, 5/1).

Fox News: New Polls Show Public Skeptical About Impact Of Obamacare
New polls continue to show the public is skeptical about the impact of Obamacare, particularly when it comes to costs, something analysts have long warned about. “New Obamacare policies cost about 35 percent more and that increase can come in the form of higher premiums, higher deductibles or narrower networks," said Robert Laszewski of Health Policy and Strategy Associates. In the latest Washington Post poll, 58 percent of consumers said the new law is causing higher costs while only 11 percent said it is reducing them (Angle, 4/30).

The Washington Post: Bill Clinton Assails Media Coverage Of Obamacare
Former president Bill Clinton on Wednesday criticized the media in stark terms -- particularly for its coverage of Obamacare. In a lecture at Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C., Clinton said the media does the country a disservice by building a narrative and never straying from it, regardless of the facts (Rucker and Blake, 4/30).

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