Perceptions of the ACA: How Partisanship, Information, and Personal Experience Shape Enrollment, Engagement and Political Attitudes

Awarded Scholars:
Amy Lerman, University of California, Berkeley
Meredith Sadin, University of California, Berkeley
Project Date:
Jul 2015
Award Amount:
Project Programs:
Co-funded Research
The Social, Economic and Political Effects of the Affordable Care Act

Findings: Policy Uptake as Political Behavior: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act; Amy E. Lerman and Meredith Sadin, University of California, Berkeley

Co-funded with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

About 41 million uninsured Americans were estimated to be eligible for Medicaid or subsidized insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, the implementation of a healthcare reform package failed to garner widespread support among the American public. For instance, in a January 2015 Kaiser Family Foundation survey, 46 percent of respondents said that they wanted Congress either to repeal the law or scale it back, and the same proportion said they viewed the law unfavorably. Even some individuals who were newly insured by the ACA continue to oppose it.

In this study, political scientist Amy Lerman will examine the factors contribute to continued opposition to the ACA. She will look at why so many uninsured individuals have yet to enroll and investigate how the implementation of the ACA has influenced individual political behavior and attitudes. Lerman has partnered with Enroll America, a national, non-partisan health advocacy organization that works to maximize the number of Americans with health insurance coverage. In concert with their data analytics department, Lerman will complete a series of large-scale field experiments, as well as observational analyses of data sets, and a series of survey experiments. Her study will examine how three factors—partisanship/ideology, information, and personal experience—interact to affect insurance take-up, perceptions of the ACA, attitudes towards government, and patterns of political participation.


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