The percentage of residents supporting the law has increased since a 2009 poll (53%).
According to a press release, despite a difficult financial environment in the state, the poll found that 74% want the law to continue, with 51% favoring continuing it with some changes and 23% continuing it as is. Only 9% of state residents favored repealing the health reform law; just 10% said so in 2009.
A central piece of the legislation is a mandate for all uninsured Massachusetts residents to purchase health insurance or pay a fine, with some exemptions and financial support for low-income residents. Support is lower for the mandate provision than for the overall law. About half (51%) of Massachusetts residents say they support this mandate, while 44% oppose it.
Asked about quality of care, ability to pay medical bills, and amount of time it takes to get an appointment – a majority or near majority felt the law did not have much of an impact on them. Looking at those who reported an impact, more thought it helped than thought it hurt their quality of care (22% vs. 14%) and their ability to pay their medical bills (27% vs. 13%). There was no statistical difference between those who thought it was helping versus hurting the amount of time it takes to get an appointment with a doctor (13% helping vs. 17% hurting). The public felt somewhat differently about the law’s impact on the cost of their care—only 33% said it did not have much of an impact on the cost of their own care, while roughly half said the law had an impact on those other aspects of their care. Looking at those who thought the law did have an impact on the cost of their care, 30% said it hurt while 23% said it helped.
Health care costs in Massachusetts have risen in recent years for many people. When asked about the main factors that are influencing rising costs in Massachusetts, only 20% of residents said rising costs were due mainly to the health insurance law, while 72% thought rising costs were due to other factors.
The Massachusetts public is split on whether the state can afford to continue with this law as it currently stands. Forty-two percent said it could afford to continue, 38% said it could not, and 9% were unsure.The poll found more Massachusetts residents support the national health care legislation of 2010 than oppose it (40% vs. 27%), while 24% say they neither support nor oppose it. Comparing these results to the most recent national polling data using the same question wording (AP-GfK Poll conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications; March 24-28, 2011), Massachusetts residents appear to be more favorable toward the national legislation than the nation as a whole. The AP-GfK poll found that fewer adults in the U.S. supported the legislation of 2010 than opposed it (35% vs. 45%), while 17% neither supported nor opposed it.