Expense: Still the American Healthcare Dilemma?

Two-thirds of Americans are happy with “the way the health care system is working for them,” a June Gallup poll found. That measure has remained generally consistent since the research firm first began tracking healthcare satisfaction in the middle of March in order to gauge how the changes brought on by the Affordable Care Act were impacting Americans.

“Americans’ high level of satisfaction with how the healthcare system is treating them suggests that healthcare is not in a crisis for most Americans,” the report said. “At the same time, that 30% of the adult population — more than 70 million people — is not satisfied with the healthcare system underscores the need for improvement.”

While it helped that Affordable Care Act enrollments topped the Obama administration’s highest estimate of 7 million, that figure is not the most important measure of the reform’s success. If those exchange policies are deemed to be affordable and the coverage judged to be good, then the future success of the Affordable Care Act will be more assured.

For the Obamacare narrative to be one of growing success, the experiences of those Americans who benefit from the changes to the insurance system — including low- and middle-income earners qualifying for subsidies and those with preexisting conditions who cannot be turned away by insurers — will have to outweigh the burden the reform may place on those who find their premiums too expensive, want to visit doctors out of their network, and consider their deductibles too high.