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Research: After King v. Burwell – What Federal Exchange Enrollees Want


The Foundation for Government Accountability commissioned a poll of 715 ObamaCare exchange enrollees. All enrollees surveyed live in one of the 34 states that are using the ObamaCare exchange. Based on their reported income, the vast majority of these enrollees are eligible for subsidies and, as a result, many of these enrollees could be personally impacted by the Supreme Court’s forthcoming King v. Burwell decision.

The purpose of the poll was to discern how individuals who have a real stake in the outcome of the case feel about the dispute and how they think lawmakers should respond to a Supreme Court decision that strikes down the subsidies as illegal.

Overall, the enrollees reported a less-than-positive ObamaCare experience: a majority of them have seen their premiums and out-of-pocket costs increase or remain stagnant. Likely compounding this negative sentiment, the poll found that a large majority of enrollees were forced into the exchange while only a small number joined voluntarily.

If the Supreme Court strikes down the ObamaCare subsidies in federal exchange states in its decision later this month, the majority of enrollees want Congress to make broad changes to ObamaCare (even more so than the general population), not just for their own benefit, but changes to benefit all Americans. Enrollees blame Congress, not the states, for the potential loss of their subsidies and expect Congress to cleanup the mess they have created. These attitudes largely transcended party lines.

Overall, exchange enrollees are politically diverse, but enrollment in ObamaCare has not pushed them to the left. While enrollees tend to lean Democratic, they appear to be up for grabs in 2016.

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