Nearly Half of Americans Confused About Status of Health Reform Law
Almost half of U.S. residents either believe that the federal health reform law has been repealed or are unsure of its status, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll, Politico reports (Haberkorn, Politico, 2/24).
The survey involved 1,202 adults and was taken between Feb. 8 and Feb. 13. It has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points (Rau, Kaiser Health News, 2/24).
The survey found that 22% believe the law was repealed and 26% are unsure. On the other hand, 52% correctly answered that the law has not been repealed.
Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman said those surveyed might be expressing "wishful thinking" that the law has been repealed. He added that U.S. residents' busy lives and conflicting media headlines could be the reason for the confusion. For example, recent headlines involving the health reform law have said:
- The GOP-lead House voted to repeal the law;
- The Senate rejected the repeal;
- Some federal judges have struck down the law; and
- Other judges have upheld it.
In addition, Altman noted that U.S. residents' knowledge of basic politics is limited. He said, "Maybe it's because 'Schoolhouse Rock' is no longer airing on Saturday morning TV explaining how government works" (Politico, 2/24).
Kaiser Health News reports that many U.S. residents might be out of touch with the health reform debate because they are more interested in politics involving the economy, jobs and the federal deficit (Kaiser Health News, 2/24).
Reform Support Stagnant Except Among Elderly Residents
According to the survey, support and opposition to the law has remained steady over the past month across all age groups except elderly residents, many of whom are turning against the overhaul.
The survey found that a record 59% of elderly U.S. residents oppose the law, up from 40% two months ago (Politico, 2/24).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.