Obamacare Poll Shows Devastating Consumer Response
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Josh Boak
The Fiscal Times
October 21, 2013

The Gallup Organization has released a devastating new poll about Obamacare, upending the argument from Democrats that the health insurance program is generating a lot of interest.

A shocking 71 percent of uninsured Americans claim to be “unfamiliar” with the online exchanges launched this month to substantial fanfare. That figure is roughly the same as September, when 72 percent said they had little understanding of the site and the program.

This finding suggests that these Americans are not as thrilled about the options of buying insurance coverage as the administration and its allies would suggest because of the alleged 19 million visits to the online exchanges.

“The number one worry before we started was are people going to be interested? Will people sign up? And the answer to that is, overwhelming, yes,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”

But the Gallup poll released on Friday indicates otherwise.

Not only are people unfamiliar with the crash-prone exchanges, but they have become more willing to pay a tax penalty over the past month than buy insurance. The share of Americans who intend to pay the fine increased to 34 percent this month from 25 percent last month.

On the upside, 49 percent of uninsured Americans claim that they would still buy coverage through the exchanges. But as the administration is trying to fix the online federal exchange that services 36 states, it might not have done enough to market the coverage.

“Gallup's tracking suggests little progress has been made in uninsured Americans' awareness of the insurance requirement or familiarity with healthcare exchanges in the weeks since they have been open,” the polling organization said.