Obamacare users see system collapsing -- but say it's still working for them now

A majority of people who rely on Obamacare insurance agree with Republican critics that the health insurance markets created by the Affordable Care Act are collapsing, according to a new poll.But most of those surveyed also said their premiums are either lower this year than they were last year, or about the same, and they’re likely to continue buying insurance even though Congress has eliminated the ACA’s penalty for going without coverage.

The poll, conducted by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, also found that Obamacare enrollees are not interested in switching to the skimpier, short-term plans, touted by the Trump administration, which have fewer benefits and lower premiums.

Liz Hamel, director of public opinion and survey research for the Kaiser Family Foundation, said the poll results highlight the contradiction between political rhetoric and reality.

"When the president is saying things like, `The ACA is failing. Things are collapsing,' people hear that," Hamel said. "So they may be answering that question not necessarily based on their own experience this year."

Republicans tried unsuccessfully to repeal the ACA last year, arguing the markets created for those who aren’t offered insurance through an employer or a government health care plan like Medicare or Medicaid were failing. The plans cost too much, deductibles were too high, and the number of insurers willing to sell plans was shrinking, GOP lawmakers said.

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