Study Finds Link Between Anti-ACA Ads and Enrollment in Coverage
Negative advertising against the Affordable Care Act in states with competitive Senate races appears to have influenced more people to sign up for health coverage under the law, according to a recent study by the Brookings Institution, The Hill reports (Viebeck, The Hill, 7/10).
For the study, Brookings fellow Niam Yaraghi examined per capita spending on anti-ACA ads in 49 states -- Vermont and the District of Columbia were excluded -- and then compared the data with enrollment figures from HHS to determine if there was a correlation between ad spending and enrollment ratios, or the total number of enrollees divided by those who were eligible to do so.
Yaraghi accounted for variables such as low per capita income population and insurance premiums and concluded that there was "positive association" between negative ACA ads and new coverage enrollment under the law in states with competitive Senate races this November. He also found that the ads helped increase awareness about the federal subsidies available under the law (Yaraghi, "TechTank," Brookings Institution, 7/9).
Yaraghi noted, "While the negative ads reduce the enrollment in red states, they have an opposite effect in blue states" (The Hill, 7/10).
He attributed the unintended boost in enrollment to the public service announcement nature of the ads and that they serve as warnings that Congress could repeal the ACA. He wrote, "People who believe that subsidized health insurance may soon disappear could have a greater willingness to take advantage of this one time opportunity" ("TechTank," Brookings Institution, 7/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.