Survey Says: Affordable Care Act vs Obamacare
Story and Infographic by Ryan Herrera
Note that the responses from the survey have been intentionally unedited.
In a recent video, Jimmy Kimmel compared the American public’s views on Obamacare to the opposite of a McNugget by saying that “most Americans don’t like Obamacare, but they love what’s in it.” This paradox reflects how many people lacking sufficient political knowledge will often side based on a label or name rather than what a bill stands for.
In an investigation of Providence’s political knowledge, the Prowl staff went to six random classrooms and handed out the same anonymous survey—and the results were simultaneously alarming and interesting.
The Prowl did not distribute this survey as an attempt to “weed out the Republicans” as one junior thought. Yet from the studying the data below, one can find some interesting trends among the demographics of political parties. Just as Kimmel said in his video, most people will side with whomever they usually side with. Most people who did not know that the bills are the same and chose Obamacare are likely Democrats, while those who chose the Affordable Care Act are likely Republicans because they chose a bill based on whether or not it was associated with Obama. This trend is reflected in the explanations of some responses as shown below.
“[I prefer] Obamacare because I support the Democratic Party,” a sophomore said.
“[I prefer the] Affordable Care Act because my family is Republican and I guess I am too,” a freshman said.
“[I prefer the] Affordable Care Act because I don’t like Obama,” a senior said.
The Affordable Care Act is not a Republican ideal by any means, yet it appears to become the go-to option simply because Obama is not in the name.
Most importantly, the results of this survey bring to light two major issues with the Providence student body: a lack of political education and apathy.
As shown in the infographic below, only about one-fourth of the students interviewed knew that Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act are synonymous, with only about 9% of freshman students knowing this fact.
Despite Providence’s improved reputation in the Charlotte community due to high SAT scores, there is an alarming rate of misinformation among our student body. Below are just a few of the responses that reflect the need for Providence students to become more politically informed.
“[Obama] is taking away health care to people who have it, and if you don’t get Obamacare, you have to pay a fine and if you don’t, you go to jail,” a sophomore said.
“I don’t know what they are. Affordable sounds better,” a junior said.
“[ I choose] the Affordable Care Act [because] I’m used to this one, plus I don’t want the stock market to crash,” a junior said.
The issue of apathy for current events such as these bills is a problem just as alarming as misinformation. As a generation that will have an important say in how future society functions, it is necessary that students show an interest in the government and the world.
Below are more responses justifying why Providence students answered the way they did.
“[I choose] Obamacare because people should be taken care of if they need it whether or not they’re rich and can afford thousands of dollars of bills,” a senior said.
“[I choose] Affordable Care Act. Well it’s Obama, and the way the economy and health is now and what it seems to be in the future does not look promising,” a senior said.
“They’re the same. I’m not an ignorant Republican who hates Obamacare just because Obama won. Don’t throw a fit just because Romney lost,” a senior said.
“Both are the same, but with different names. I would prefer Affordable Care Act just because of the name,” a junior said.