The poll asked respondents about the impact of the health reform law on their own health care in terms of costs, quality of care, their ability to pay medical bills if they were to get sick, and the amount of time it takes them to get an appointment with a physician. On the latter three measures 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 careonly 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; this difference was not statistically significant.
Impact of the Law on Health Care Costs Across the State
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.
|Contact: Todd Datz|
Harvard School of Public Health