Gallup: ObamaCare approval hits new low

A new survey finds that approval of ObamaCare is lower than ever before.

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Thirty-seven percent of Americans approve of the Affordable Care Act, according to a new survey from Gallup.

The previous low was in January, when 38 percent said they approved of the law. At that time, the White House was still recovering from the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov, the website where consumers could search for health insurance plans.

Gallup found that approval of the law splits radically along party lines.

Democrats approve of ObamaCare at much higher rates, while just 8 percent of Republicans approve.

Approval fell among independents. In October, 39 percent of independents approved of the law. Now, 33 percent approve.

The survey found that a majority of nonwhites still approved of the law. But for the first time, Gallup found that nonwhite approval did not top 60 percent, as approval ratings among nonwhites dropped 6 points. Twenty-nine percent of whites approved of the law.

The approval numbers come just as the second period of open enrollment through the law begins. Administration officials and workers in the field are trying to get new customers to sign up through the law’s insurance exchanges while also helping existing customers to renew their plans.

The relaunch of HealthCare.gov went off with only minor technical glitches on Saturday — a victory for administration officials who have spent a year preparing a more stable version of the website that could handle substantial Web traffic.

The new Gallup findings were released amid controversy over comments by an economist who advised the administration on the law. Jonathan Gruber said that a lack of transparency and the “stupidity of the American voter” helped the law pass. His comments continue to dominate coverage of the law.

But it’s unlikely that the first video with Gruber’s comments had a huge sway over the survey results. The poll was conducted from Nov. 6-9. The video appeared on Nov. 9.

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services noted that another Gallup poll released Friday found that individuals who had purchased insurance through the ObamaCare exchanges were as satisfied with the quality of their care as the insured population overall.

The vast majority of individuals newly insured through the law said they would rate the quality of their healthcare as excellent or good, according to the poll. That's roughly similar to the levels at which the insured population rates their coverage overall.

Seventy-five percent of adults who purchased their insurance through the exchanges said that they were satisfied with the cost of their healthcare — a greater proportion than in the population at large.

Many adults who bought their insurance on the exchanges are also likely to be sticking with their plans in the coming year.

Sixty-eight percent said they would renew the plan they had purchased through the exchanges. Seven percent said that they would buy a new plan but they would still buy it from the exchanges. Fifteen percent said they would look elsewhere for a new plan.

The poll had a sample of 828 adults. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

—This post has been updated.