- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 21, 2014

More than half of voters say they’re tired of hearing congressional candidates talk about Obamacare and “wish they would move on to other issues,” while just over four in 10 want the discussion to continue, according to a monthly tracking poll released Tuesday.

The Kaiser Family Foundation says less than one in 10 voters — 8 percent — see the Affordable Care Act as the most important issue guiding their vote, behind the economy, dissatisfaction with government, education and the unrest in Iraq and Syria.

With midterm elections two weeks away, six in 10 voters say they’ve seen political advertising related to Obamacare, with more people reporting that the ads were critical of the law instead of supportive.

The survey belies early 2014 projections that Obamacare would be at the forefront of the battle to control Congress. Instead, issues such as job creation, immigration, the rise of the Islamic State and the Ebola epidemic have overshadowed health care at times, although many GOP candidates have pointed out Obamacare’s general unpopularity in campaign ads.

Kaiser says 43 percent have an unfavorable view of President Obama’s health overhaul and 36 percent have a favorable view, consistent with levels around the time Obamacare launched in earnest last fall, although down from 53 percent-unfavorable mark in July.

About seven in 10 of Democratic voters and voters with a favorable view of the law want candidates to move on, while six in 10 of Republican voters and voters that disapprove of the law want the debate to linger.

Independents are split, but tilt toward moving on.

The poll by Kaiser, a nonpartisan health policy organization, is the last one before the Nov. 4 election and arrives one month before Obamacare sign-ups begin anew on Nov. 15.

But so far, the uninsured “are not yet tuned in.”

Pollsters say nine in 10 uninsured people are unaware of when open enrollment begins, and two-thirds of uninsured persons say they know “only a little” or “nothing at all” about the health exchanges where people can choose plans, often with the help of income-based government subsidies.

Just over half of the uninsured people surveyed said they knew about financial assistance to help low- and moderate-income Americans pay for coverage.

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