HealthDay News — Of U.S. physicians, 60% believe that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has improved access to care and insurance after 5 years of implementation, according to a report published in Health Affairs.

Lindsay Riordan, from the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues readministered elements of a previous survey to US physicians to examine how their opinions of the ACA may have changed during the five-year implementation period (2012 to 2017). Responses were compared across surveys. A total of 489 physicians responded to the 2017 survey.

The researchers found that 60% of respondents believed that the ACA had improved access to care and insurance, but 43% felt that it had reduced coverage affordability. Despite reporting perceived worsening in several practice conditions, in 2017, more physicians agreed that the ACA “would turn United States health care in the right direction” compared with 2012 (53 vs 42%). In the 2017 results, only political party affiliation was a significant predictor of support for the ACA after adjustment for potential confounding variables.

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“A slight majority of U.S. physicians, after experiencing the ACA’s implementation, believed that it is a net positive for U.S. health care,” the authors write. “Their favorable impressions increased, despite their reports of declining affordability of insurance, increased administrative burdens, and other challenges they and their patients faced.”

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