A new, wide-ranging health poll shows that opinion remains split on the Affordable Care Act in Kentucky, with most unfavorable opinions coming from northern and western parts of the state. Those areas also happen to have the highest rates of uninsured in the state.
Susan Zepeda is president of Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, which conducts the annual poll along with Cincinnati-based Interact for Health.
“Overall, what we’re finding with these reports is that an increasing number of Kentuckians have health insurance, but many are still delaying or simply can’t afford necessary health care,” Zepeda said.
The Kentucky Health Issues Poll showed that just 41 percent of Kentuckians have a favorable opinion of the Affordable Care Act.
Conducted between Sept. 17, 2015, and Oct. 7, 2015, the poll showed a 13 percent uninsured rate.
Meanwhile, 18 percent of Western Kentucky respondents and 17 percent of Northern Kentuckians reported not having insurance. Just 33 percent of Northern Kentuckians reported a favorable opinion of the Affordable Care Act; that figure was 38 percent in Western Kentucky.
Since October 2013, about 500,000 Kentuckians have gotten health insurance through the state exchange Kynect or the expanded Medicaid program.
Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration is working to dismantle the state insurance exchange by the end of this year and allow the estimated 85,000 users to transition onto the federal exchange, healthcare.gov.
Eastern Kentucky and the Lexington area had the lowest uninsured rates — 8 percent and 9 percent, respectively.
The highest favorability of the Affordable Care Act came from the Louisville area, where 44 percent of respondents reported a positive opinion of the program. Louisville has a 13 percent uninsured rate, the same as the rate of Kentucky overall, according to the survey.
The poll used a random sample of 1,608 adults reached by landline telephones and cell phones.