It is difficult to search for news on Obamacare without running into a story reporting that Obamacare is on a crash course for failure and, according to data recently collected by the Pew Research Center, it is just as unpopular as it has ever been.
This website and another that we highly respect for their tireless efforts to provide Americans with unbiased information, have had enough with the misleading data and reports. So that’s why we’re working with ObamacareFacts.com to bring you 100% accurate information in this new poll that we have jointly commissioned.
News organizations such as the NBC News, Washington Post and USA Today are taking a very small sample set of survey data, either from a panel of 1,000 or 1,500 people, and are using that limited information to paint a very specific picture; a picture that we have data to dispute and consequently call out as being incredibly misleading and inaccurate.
Of the three news organizations mentioned above, USA Today seems to be one of the most heavy-handed in their efforts to convey that the majority of Americans are not interested in Obamacare and are storming the capital in protest… literally. A recent story regarding Obamacare in USA Today featured a photo of Amy Brighton of Medina, Ohio protesting in front of the Supreme Court on March 27th of last year. Unfortunately, USA Today failed to disclose that Ms. Brighton is not your average middle-American citizen but, according to her Facebook account, is the Co-Coordinator of the Medina Tea Party Patriots. She is also associated with the Cleveland Tea Party Patriots, which have dedicated the whole front page of their website expressing their strong opinions of Obamacare. We’re not going to link to it, but trust us, its hilarious, in a childish way.
Our hope with this reporting is to highlight some very critical facts now coming to light about Obamacare. One interesting issue with Obamacare that we have seen is that main stream media, or the well-established polling firms like Pew that are hired by the media to collect the data, are not doing a very good job at getting to the truth of how people really feel about Obamacare.
In the spirit of the saying: “if you want something done right, do it yourself,” we did just that – – conducted our own survey of more than 2800 Americans from ages 18 to 80. Side note, the oldest person who responded ending up being 77 years old. We can assure you that our poll was anonymous, truthful, and contains information from a vast array of people of various ages, income levels, and geographic areas. Thanks to our own polling specialist, Survey.com, for your expertise and professionalism. We will dote on them more later after we discuss the good stuff – the results!
We asked 2,818 Americans from ages 18 to 80 the following question regarding Obamacare:
Which of the following best describes your thoughts on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)?
Approve: 852 (30.23%)
Disapprove: 909 (32.25%)
Indifferent: 293 (10.39%)
Unsure: 756 (26.82%)
Unlike many other polls, we decided to give the people we polled the opportunity to admit that they may not have enough information or may be indifferent at the moment with regards to ObamaCare. With truthful information, these middle-of-the-road Americans can make proper and educated decisions that will sway them to the Yay or Nay category.
Although the main point of this article is to shine a bright light on bountiful misinformation on ObamaCare available to populous of “Unsure” Americans, we initially set out on out data collection expedition to determine whether ObamaCare has any real chance of catching on with the coveted 18 to 34 year old demographic.
Why the 18 to 34 demographic you ask? Well for starters health insurance industry analysts, political pundits on the left and right, along with anyone else with a financial motive, will all tell you that in order for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to have any real chance of working, the young and healthy must participate.
Without spending too much time on the gory details, here is how the insurance industry works. When an insurance company writes a policy for any individual they are, in effect, placing a bet on that person by wagering whether that person will get sick, get into a car accident and require major surgery or have a touch of hypochondria and run to the doctor every time they sniffle. Essentially, the insurance company hopes that the annual insurance premium charged is greater than the cost of medical care the person needs throughout the year and this is most commonly the occurrence with the 18 to 34 year old demographic.
Obviously, insurance companies would prefer to issue policies only for the young and healthy versus the sick and/or elderly, simply because statistics show that the elderly policy holder is a lot more expensive to insure than the young one. This is also true for people who are overweight, smokers or have jobs that put them at a higher risk for accidents. Additionally, insurance company’s attraction to the young and healthy 18 to 34 year old demographic and aversion to the ill is also the reason why it has been basically impossible for millions of American with health problems to obtain health insurance.
Why would the insurance company want to write policies for people with cancer when necessary, life saving treatments can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year? After all, insurance companies are in business to make money, not to save lives.
Thankfully for many, ObamaCare has pretty much thrown a turd into the insurance company’s punchbowl… errr… business model. Under the new rules, an American cannot be rejected for coverage even with brain cancer and the imminent need for surgery that could cost $1.5 million before you are home resting comfortably.
Insurance companies, including those within the health exchange are now in a battle to attract the young and healthy 18 to 34 year old demographic because, as stated previously, the annual insurance premiums collected by the insurance companies usually outweigh the amount of money they have to pay out for medical expenses. This means more PROFIT whereas the opposite is usually true for people older than 18 to 34 year old demographic.
The bottom line is that according to many on the left and right of Obamacare, if young people do not get on the stick and get health insurance, Obamacare will be a big politicized failure, which has created many talking points for all-political-talk news shows, bloggers and websites. Those who seek to use this very hot button issue to push their political agenda have been frothing at the mouth at the opportunity to write up stories that give credence to their theory that young people will not get on board with Obamacare.
This key demographic is historically the most difficult to motivate in elections so why would getting health insurance be any different?
Well, as much as our organization enjoys rampant speculation and the three-ring circus that comes along with it, inside this beast, is a bunch of number crunching nerds. And what do nerds do? They seek math, nothing but blind and impartial math. Thankfully, the good people at Survey.com are great at finding blind and impartial math for us to examine.
Why Survey.com? As we eluded to previously, it is our opinion that traditional polling companies or “unbiased, non-partisan polling-tanks” rely on old data, collect too little data, collect from a limited geographic region, or the methods by which they collect the data lead to biased and inaccurate results. Again, just our opinion from what we have seen published.
A huge reason we asked Survey.com to conduct our poll is because they promote transparency about the people polled and the results obtained, which is one of the most serious complaints we have with other surveys. Another perk of the Survey.com service is that it is administered through a mobile phone app to hundreds of thousands of Americans instantly. Additionally, Survey.com allows you to limit the scope of your polling audience. We could have selected the geographic location, the income level, the race, age, sex, or many other categories of the polling audience chosen to take our survey, which means that not only do the results have a high probability of being accurate, but they are also very revealing. The level of detail that Survey.com offers is nothing short of amazing.
The individuals are never identified personally and Survey.com never requests their name, email, home or work address or any other personally identifying details. Therefore, the polling member can have peace of mind in knowing that they can be 100% truthful without any negative ramifications.
One feature, which we did not use, but nonetheless sounds incredible, is called “Geo Fencing”. This feature of Survey.com’s service would allow us to send a survey to a person presently at a specific location, such as McDonalds, a medical park where there is a lot of outpatient doctor’s offices, or even a hospital.
So, on September 9, 2013 our survey commence, sent out across the interweb as we jokingly refer to it, to a nameless polling audience, whom we will never meet, but we now know a heck of a lot about. The information came in piece meal and we could have started reading through the it as it came in; however we chose instead to just consume it all at once; a digital feast of sorts for number-crunching nerds like us.
It’s not that we’re tree hugging hippies, who HEART the president or anything like that. Honestly the one thing this diverse group of people can agree on, is that healthcare is too damn expensive.
What we like about Obamacare is the following;
Based on the math, not politics, but based on math and because there’s now transparency and limitations on how much profit can be made from a single policy. This is for the most part a new concept to an industry that historically has had more sweaty palm middlemen wanting “their cut” than a drug cartel. Again according to the math, Obamacare if popular with uninsured young people, it will drastically lower healthcare costs for everyone.
So, what did the results tell us exactly?
First we should say that we did something really crazy here, realizing that there is in fact a lot of misinformation and a lot of confusion regarding Obamacare we decided to give people a couple more options than those other polling companies.
So instead of asking if people just approve or disapprove of Obamacare, we gave them the option to also chose to not care one way or the other, or be undecided. Amazing, we gave people the option to form an opinion after they have time to understand how something works. Also, we decided to break out the data into two groups within the 18 to 34 demographic.
Truthfully it is because there’s nothing that we enjoy more than doing a better job at this, something we have no experience in, than some well established, well funded, stodgy old polling company that major publications like NBC and USA Today love to reference instead of doing this research themselves.
Oh, and because we put our money where our mouth is, literally. We will be providing the raw polling data to anyone who asks for it, for free.
So without further delay, here are the results of just some of the questions we asked the approximately 2,800 Americans ages 18 to 80. Remember that we initially set out to get information on the 18 to 34 year old demographic, we have limited the results to just that age group for now. You can however gain access to the full results and pull data on your own as you see fit.
Question #1 – Have you heard about the Affordable Care Act?
Of the 18 to 24 demographic (895 responses)
YES: 837 (93.5%)
NO: 56 (6.25%)
Of the 25 to 34 demographic (1113 responses)
YES: 1065 (95.68%)
NO: 48 (4.31%)
Question #2 – Do you know when ACA registration begins?
Of the 18 to 24 demographic (895 responses)
YES: 275 (30.72%)
NO: 620 (69.27%)
Of the 25 to 34 demographic (1113 responses)
YES: 377 (33.87%)
NO: 736 (66.12%)
Question #3 – Do you now you currently have health insurance?
Of the 18 to 24 demographic (895 responses)
YES: 725 (81.05%)
NO: 170 (18.99%)
Of the 25 to 34 demographic (1113 responses)
YES: 881 (79.15%)
NO: 232 (20.84%)
Question #4 – Would you like to receive free information regarding when the ACA begins in your state?
Of the 18 to 24 demographic (902 responses)
YES: 302 (33.48%)
NO: 598 (66.29%)
Of the 25 to 34 demographic (1109 responses)
YES: 472 (42.56%)
NO: 634 (57.16)
Question #5 – Which of the following best describes your thoughts on the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare)?
Of the 18 to 24 demographic (901 responses)
Approve: 284 (31.52%)
Disapprove: 248 (27.52%)
Indifferent: 116 (12.87%)
Unsure: 251 (27.85%)
Of the 25 to 34 demographic (1110 responses)
Approve: 341 (30.72%)
Disapprove: 351 (31.62%)
Indifferent: 103 (9.27%)
Unsure: 312 (28.10%)
To obtain even more granular results, we then took those respondents above and then singled out the ones who earn less than $20,000 a year.
Of the 18 to 24 demographic earning less than $20K Year (356 responses)
Approve: 115 (32.30%)
Disapprove: 92 (25.84%)
Indifferent: 37 (10.39%)
Unsure: 111 (31.17%)
Of the 25 to 34 demographic earning less than $20K Year (199 responses)
Approve: 75 (37.68%)
Disapprove: 48 (24.12%)
Indifferent: 15 (7.50%)
Unsure: 61 (30.65%)
Of the 18 to 24 demographic who know ACA start date and earn less than $20K a year (121 responses)
Approve: 54 (44.62%)
Disapprove: 31 (25.61%)
Indifferent: 10 (8.26%)
Unsure: 26 (21.48%)
Of the 25 to 34 demographic who know ACA start date and earn less than $20K a year (74 responses)
Approve: 37 (50%)
Disapprove: 24 (32.43%)
Indifferent: 3 (4.05%)
Unsure: 10 (13.51%)
It is interesting that people who can at least claim know when Open Enrollment commences and who make less than $20,000.00 a year also seem more likely to be in favor of Obamacare. Imagine if the entire polling audience knew that more likely than not, they could obtain insurance coverage for free with a base level bronze plan under the health exchange. I wonder how many might be in favor of Obamacare then?
Things get even more interesting if we ask those who are uninsured and earn less than $20,000 a year if they would like to receive free information on when open enrollment begins in their state.
Question #6 – Would you like to receive free information regarding when the ACA begins in your state? (No insurance, less than $20,000 year income)
Of the 18 to 24 demographic (96 responses)
YES: 47 (48.95%)
NO: 49 (51.04%)
Of the 25 to 34 demographic (68 responses)
YES: 48 (70.58%)
NO: 20 (29.41%)
Whoa! Why is that last statistic specifically on the 25 to 34 demographic significant? It is significant because before Obamacare, the longest someone could stay on their parent’s health insurance plan was until age 25; this has now been extended to 26 years old. We like to think that this result proves that the 25 to 34 year old demographic is now aware that they do not have the option to stay on their parent’s plan and need more information.
It’s true that we jumped into the data hoping to glean information regarding the 18 to 34 year old demographic; however what we came out with was actually a much bigger picture that likely effects all age groups: there is a large amount of misinformation about Obamacare.
One issue that we stumbled across in our extended research is that some less than ethical insurance brokers are perpetuating the spread of misinformation.
Reliable sources have provided us with audio transcripts and in some cases recordings of live calls between those seeking insurance under Obamacare and health insurance brokers. We have definitive proof that some insurance brokerage agents are purposely misleading consumers simply to enjoy higher profit margins while they can.
Why would they do this? In our opinion the reason is pretty glaring. Starting on October 1st, there is going to be a massive shift in pricing for healthcare as Obamacare goes into effect. Up until October 1, however, insurance companies can still sign up as many people as they want for a regular, private plan at the regular price, which means more room for a profit margin if they do sell you a policy.
What we discovered in our investigation is that when some agents have been asked by consumers direct over the phone about Obamacare plans, some brokers are telling individuals “we don’t know if it is going to happen,” “it hasn’t been decided on yet,” “we do not know when it goes into effect.” Clearly, this information is incredibly untrue. If there is a licensed insurance broker who actually does not know when ObamaCare goes into effect, they should have their license revoked and their head examined.
We said it before and we will say it again, we are going to continue to report on things in a fair way, call bull!@*# when we see people trying to manipulate data or if they are not asking enough questions. We will stand up for those who seem to have been forgotten or are just outright ignored.
With the help of an insurance broker whom we will not reveal, we obtained some very troubling information. This person provided us with a way to reach out to two different individuals who had placed calls specifically to his brokerage firm seeking information on Obamacare. Because this agency is one in which he is presently employed at and does not own and or set policies within, he took a major risk in providing us with this consumer contact information and we greatly appreciate it.
What happened next was nothing short of amazing in our opinion. Both callers were left disappointed when they were told “we don’t have information on Obamacare plans” and then pitched on buying a $300 to $400 a month family plan. We heard the audio recording of the calls, they were in a word, depressing. These were two heads of household, calling on behalf of their family. Families who were struggling, who needed access to very inexpensive healthcare options and fundamentally didn’t have the slightest understanding of Obamacare.
We reached out to them direct, and after bs’ing for a minute and saying that we were connected to the agency they called earlier that day, we then proceeded to give them an outline of what their options would be under Obamacare starting in October. Both families had income of less than $35,000 and $40,000 respectively and consequently they were overjoyed to find out that starting in October they could obtain a Bronze level plan at no cost thanks to subsidies that they would be eligible for. We then gave them the contact information of someone who would be able to help them starting on October 1st. Ironically enough, both families were in “Red States”, Alabama and Texas and did we mention that they both made it clear early on in the call that they only had negative ideas surrounding Obamacare. Also it was inferred that they didn’t vote for the president either.
A family being able to finally have access to preventative healthcare, being able to seek treatment for a serious health issue or obtain coverage despite a preexisting condition that would prevented them from obtaining a policy, even if they could have afforded it to begin with. These are the things that are the equalizer, they allow people to see past party lines and start to understand how much this can potentially benefit their lives if only they had the information they need.
So what is the point we are trying to get at with all of this? First of all, we think that there are two real problems facing Americans. The first being that unless you actually take a moment to stop and research the ACA and what it can offer you, you are never going to find out if it is a good option for your specific needs. Relying on headlines, articles in mainstream publications, friends, family, neighbors, mysterious or incomplete polling data, or simply believing propaganda by poster pushing tea-party members is not a good way to get the facts.
We’re not saying you have to go by what we are telling you or that FreeObamaCareGuide.com should be considered the best, unbiased source of information out there (shameless plug – if you want to sign up for our Free ObamaCare Guide, which is regularly updated, feel free to do so.), but you do need to do your research and get good, truthful information.
Again, special thanks to Survey.com for providing us with this incredible data, it was well worth the cost and we would encourage other media outlets to seek out their services if they truly want access to insightful information and accurate polling data.
We’ll continue to post more articles that examine this data more closely, but we have a feeling that a lot of other news organizations will want a crack at it as well.
We will share the entire raw data feed of the survey to any individual or organization that asks for it. Truthful information should be free and available to anyone who wants it, period. Simply use the contact form within this website to email us to request the data.