Physicians play a key role in implementing health policy, and US physicians were split in their opinions about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) soon after its implementation began. We readministered elements of a prior survey of US physicians to a similar sample to understand how US physicians’ opinions of the ACA may have changed over a crucial fiveyear implementation period (2012-17), and we compared responses across both surveys. Of the 1,200 physicians to whom we sent a survey in the summer of 2017, 489 responded (a response rate of 41 percent). A majority of respondents (60 percent) believed that the ACA had improved access to care and insurance, yet many (43 percent) felt that it had reduced the affordability of coverage. More physicians agreed in 2017 than in 2012 that the ACA “would turn United States health care in the right direction” (53 percent versus 42 percent), despite reporting perceived worsening in several practice conditions over the same time period. After we adjusted for specialty, political party affiliation, practice setting type, perceived social responsibility, age, and sex, we found that only political party affiliation was a significant predictor of support for the ACA in the 2017 results.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by the Small Grants Program of the Mayo Clinic’s Division of General Internal Medicine and by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (Grant No. UL1 TR002377). Sarah Gollust provided helpful comments on earlier drafts. The 2012 survey was supported by the Mayo Clinic Program in Professionalism and Ethics and the Greenwall Foundation. The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies of the institutions where they work.