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New polls show public skeptical about impact of ObamaCare

 

New polls continue to show the public is skeptical about the impact of ObamaCare, particularly when it comes to costs, something analysts have long warned about.

“New ObamaCare policies cost about 35 percent more and that increase can come in the form of higher premiums, higher deductibles or narrower networks," said Robert Laszewski of Health Policy and Strategy Associates.

In the latest Washington Post poll, 58 percent of consumers said the new law is causing higher costs while only 11 percent said it is reducing them.

That meshes with a new Kaiser poll that found the most common reason for remaining uninsured was not being able to find an affordable plan.

"They may be better off if they can get a subsidy, but the underlying costs are higher and they're going to be even higher next year," said John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Cost may also be one of the reasons the law remains unpopular.

In the Washington Post poll, 48 percent oppose the law, 44 percent approve. A Kaiser poll shows an even broader gap between unfavorable and favorable views, 46 to 38 percent.

Another reason for discontent is limited access to doctors and hospitals.

Former Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Holtz-Eakin said, "insurers kept the price tag down by saying you can't go see any doctor you want, you can't see any hospital you want. You can go to the ones where we cut a very good deal and that keeps premiums down to begin with."

But consumers often did not know which providers were included when they selected a plan.

Mike Kreidler, the Democratic insurance commissioner in Washington state, just issued rules requiring more clarity about which providers are in the state networks.

He also imposed more standards than found in ObamaCare itself, requiring all health plans to  "...have an adequate number of medical providers..." and "provide access to care in a timely manner and within reasonable proximity."

Long waits and long drives are both common and unpopular, but new standards would make ObamaCare even more expensive than consumers are already complaining about.

"If you force insurance companies to have broader networks, said Goodman, "the only way you get it broader is you raise the fee you're going to pay to the doctors. That means the premium will go up as well."

Jim Angle currently serves as chief national correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). He joined FNC in 1996 as a senior White House correspondent.