Confusion Persists Over Provisions of Federal Health Reform Law
Nearly seven months after passage of the federal health reform law, the public remains confused about the overhaul's provisions and how they will affect the U.S. health care system, NPR's "All Things Considered" reports.
The public's confusion may stem from the prevalence of misinformation being spread by groups who have complaints about the law, according to "All Things Considered." For example, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is running an advertising campaign that says the reform law amounts to a "takeover of health care crushing small businesses with billions in penalties."
Meanwhile, the Obama administration's efforts to educate the public on the law have been hampered by other priorities and competing advertisements, according to Stephanie Cutter, who steers the White House's outreach strategy. The administration's "first priority was to implement the law," Cutter said.
Drew Altman, political scientist and president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, said the public's failure to understand reform provisions began before the law was signed when the administration was deciding whether to highlight its cost control, coverage expansion or patient protection measures.
However, Altman noted, reform opponents should realize that public disapproval of the law could stem from frustrations about the political process and the economic downturn (Rovner, "All Things Considered," NPR, 10/20).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.