Americans are getting sicker of Obamacare. Approval rating for the 2010 Affordable Care Act reached a record low this month as the open enrollment period began for 2015. According to a Gallup poll released Monday, only 37 percent of Americans say they approve of the health care law, down one percentage point from the previous low in January.
Similarly, the number of Americans who disapprove of the law hit a new high of 56 percent, according to a survey of 828 telephone interviews conducted earlier this month.
However, the law remains popular with those who have signed up for coverage, with about 75 percent saying they would renew their policies or shop for another ACA health plan.
Obamacare has especially taken a hit with independents, who are much frostier toward the law than they were two years ago, when it was at the height of its popularity. Only 33 percent of independents say they approve of the ACA, compared with 74 percent of Democrats and 8 percent of Republicans. The poll reveals racial divisions as well, with only 29 percent of whites voicing their approval, compared with 56 percent of nonwhites.
In a summary, Gallup’s Justin McCarthy wrote that while Americans have never been particularly positive toward the law, the new poll shows a new “numerical low,” and could reflect the general discontent with Obama policies indicated in the recent midterm elections, in which congressional Democrats took a bloodbath.
“Although the ACA ... was not as dominant an issue in this year’s congressional elections as it was in 2010, the issue was part of Republicans’ campaign efforts to oppose the president's agenda overall,” McCarthy wrote. “In doing that, many of the party’s candidates were successful.”
Despite Obamacare’s unpopularity, the law appears to be having a measurable effect on lowering the uninsured rate, according to a separate Gallup poll taken in October. Since the law’s implementation, the percentage of U.S. adults without health insurance fell to 13.4 percent, the lowest point since Gallup began tracking the rates in 2008.
The open enrollment period on Healthcare.gov began on Nov. 15 and lasts until Feb. 15, 2015.
Read the latest Gallup poll here.