Poll finds contrasting views of Obamacare and Kynect

Most registered voters in Kentucky have an unfavorable view of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act when it is called Obamacare, but a plurality think favorably of Kynect, the brand name of the health-insurance marketplace that state government created under the law.

Those were among the findings of a poll taken April 30 through May 6 for NBC News by the Marist College Institute of Public Opinion in New York. It asked, “Overall, do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of Obamacare?” The result was 33 percent favorable and 57 percent unfavorable, which was very close to voters’ opinion of President Obama: 32 percent approval and 56 percent disapproval.

Last fall, the Kentucky Health Issues Poll found that people who weren’t sure how Obamacare would affect them and their families had an unfavorable opinion of it, while those who said they did know how it would affect them had a favorable opinion.

In the recent poll, half the people were asked about Obamcare and the other half were asked, “Overall, do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of Kynect?” The term was not defined. The poll found that 29 percent had a favorable opinion and 22 percent had an unfavorable opinion, while 29 percent said they had never heard of Kynect and 21 percent said they were unsure how to rate it.

Among people who identified themselves as Democrats, 39 percent were favorable and 15 percent were unfavorable; among Republicans, it was 16 percent favorable and 32 percent unfavorable. Among independents (who were 14 percent of the survey), opinion was 31 percent favorable and 22 percent unfavorable.

The only polling region where Kynect was not rated favorably was the Bluegrass and some surrounding counties, where opinion was 25 percent favorable and 28 percent unfavorable.

The poll asked all registered voters, “From what you have heard about the new health care law, do you think it is a good idea, a bad idea?” Then they were asked if they felt that strongly or not so strongly. The results showed polarization: 27 percent strongly felt it is a good idea, 43 percent said they felt strongly that it was a bad idea, and those who said their opinions weren’t so strong were in the single digits. Eleven percent said they didn’t have an opinion either way, and 4 percent said they weren’t sure.

The poll, taken via landline and cell phones, has an error margin of plus or minus 1.9 percentage points. The Obamacare and Kynect questions have an error margin of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points. NBC News and Marist College took the survey mainly to gauge opinions in Kentucky’s race for the U.S. Senate. For its release and the poll results, click here.

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