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Polls: Early reviews for Obamacare rollout not pretty

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Posted at 10:41 AM, Oct 22, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-22 12:41:25-04

By CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser

(CNN) — Only a minority of Americans are giving a thumbs up to the rollout of the Obamacare health care exchanges, according to a trio of new national polls.

Just 12% of people questioned in a CBS News poll released Tuesday say they think the process is going well, with nearly half saying it’s not going well and nearly four in 10 saying they can’t evaluate the signup process at HealthCare.gov.

The state level online exchanges, which opened for business on October 1, are intended to allow those without insurance to sign up for health care, and are a crucial part of the Affordable Care Act.

Less than three-in-10 surveyed in a Pew Research Center poll released on Monday say the online exchanges are working very well, with 46% saying they are not.

Besides the expected partisan divide, the poll also indicates a racial gap. Just 24% of white respondents, but 51% of black respondents say the exchanges are working well.

And the survey points to generational and income divides.

“Young people and those with annual household incomes of less than $30,000 are divided in their evaluations of the exchanges, while the assessments of older and more affluent Americans are more negative,” says a release from Pew Research.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll suggests that major problems with the health care law’s website may just be an appetizer.

Fifty-six percent of those questioned in the survey, which was released Monday, say the website failures are a sign of broader problems to come, with four in 10 saying they are an isolated incident.

More than eight in 10 Republicans see the website failures as part of a larger problem with the measure, while most Democrats describe it as an isolated incident.

The Pew survey suggests more Americans are becoming familiar with the exchanges, with the percentage of people who know that the exchanges are available in their state rising from 51% early last month to nearly two thirds now.

President angry with rollout

The health care law, passed along party lines in 2010 when the Democrats controlled the Senate and the House, is considered President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement.

And the President vented Monday about the website rollout.

“Nobody’s madder than me about the website not working as well as it should, which means it’s going to get fixed,” Obama said during an appearance the White House Rose Garden.

But he didn’t specify exactly what went wrong or who was to blame for the problems, which include long waits to log onto the federally administered website and maddeningly long wait times once online.

There’s “no excuse for the problems,” Obama added.

But he said tech industry experts were being brought in to help workers trying to fix the site.

The technical fiasco is fueling the GOP push to dismantle or defund Obamacare, and some Republicans are calling for the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

In early September, barely half (51%) knew that exchanges were going to be available in their state; that has risen to nearly two-thirds (65%) today.

Failures don’t affect support

According to the ABC News/Washington Post poll, 46% of Americans support the law, edging up four points from last month. Forty-nine percent say they oppose the measure, down three points from September.

Even with all the bad news, a Pew survey suggests more Americans are becoming familiar with the exchanges. The percentage of people who know that the exchanges are available in their state rose from 51% early last month to nearly two thirds now.

And 43 percent of those questioned in the CBS News survey give Obamacare a thumbs up, a four point increase since September, with 51% saying they oppose the law, unchanged from last month.

The 42%-53% approval/disapproval rating for the measure in the Pew poll is basically unchanged from September.

A CNN/ORC International poll released Monday indicates that 41% say they favor the law, with 56% opposed to it. The 41% approval was up three points from last month, with the disapproval basically unchanged.

The CNN survey also indicates that 38% say they are against the law because they think it’s too liberal, while 12% say it’s not liberal enough. That means 53% either support Obamacare, or say it’s not liberal enough.

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