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American Association for Public Opinion Research

Webinar Details

PAPOR Chapter Spotlight Webinar: Public Opinion of the Affordable Care Act: A Deeply Loved/Hated Law

Mollyann Brodie
Thursday, July 19, 2018
12:00 - 1:30 PM CDT/ 1:00 - 2:30 PM EDT/ 10:00 - 11:30 AM PDT

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About This Course:

The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA), has a storied history including several near-death experiences, including most recently efforts in 2017 by President Trump and Republicans in Congress to repeal and replace the law. Since the law’s passage in 2010 and throughout its implementation, public opinion of the law has been characterized by deep divisions, underpinned by partisanship. Using public opinion polling conducted monthly since 2010, this webinar examines the past, current, and future of polling on the controversial ACA and how the lessons learned during the past eight years can help researchers in several ways. Specifically, this webinar will delve into three lessons learned from this extensive research. First, we will examine how when polling on the views and experiences with the ACA, responses are largely partisan, regardless of question wording or questionnaire design. Second, we will review the data that shows that although polling on the nuances of the complex legislation is complicated, it can yield deeper insights into the public’s views and actual experiences with the health care law. And finally, we will show that what most Americans mean, both presently and in the past, when they say they want health care reform is a reduction in their own health care costs. These polling lessons explored in this webinar, while directly applicable to the eight years since the passage of the ACA, may also prove useful in future polling on the seemingly ongoing health care legislative debates and other controversial laws in highly polarized political climates and will help illuminate the role of health care in the upcoming midterm elections.

Webinar Level:


Learning Objectives:

  • Understand public opinion of the ACA over time and how partisanship has underpinned views since its passage
  • Examine what the public says they really want when talking about changes to the ACA or the U.S. health care system
  • Review the role the ACA or health care in general may or may not play in the 2018 midterm elections

About the Instructors:

Mollyann Brodie, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Executive Operations and Executive Director of Public Opinion and Survey Research at the Kaiser Family Foundation

Dr. Brodie is responsible for all aspects of the Foundation’s public opinion survey efforts, including the monthly Kaiser Health Tracking poll and the ongoing survey partnerships with The Washington Post, CNN, and NPR. Her research efforts focus on understanding public opinion and knowledge on health care policy issues, and the role of opinion in health policy debates. Dr. Brodie’s work has been published in the JAMA, NEJM, Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law and Health Affairs. She is also responsible for all executive operations of the Foundation, including directing the President’s Office and supporting the activities of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and Board Committees.