Straight talk on health care reform: How much do you know about health care reform? (Part 2)
Remember when your mother said, "Try it, you might like it"? Remember how someone you didn't like became a good friend once you got to know them? The point is that your opinion about something is only as good as what you really know about it.
There are a lot of strong opinions about the new health care law. Unfortunately, there's a lot of confusion, too.
Our last Straight Talk email reviewed the results of a true-false quiz that was part of a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Only 1 percent of Americans answered all questions correctly.) We want to use other Kaiser Family Foundation surveys to shine light on more instances of misinformation about the new reforms.
Is it still the law?
22 percent of Americans think the national health care reform law has been repealed (26 percent aren't sure), according to the Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll.
In fact, even though the House of Representatives passed a repeal bill on a party-line vote, the Senate voted down the same bill. So the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the law of the land.
Has any of the law been implemented?
17 percent of Americans believe that none of the provisions of the law have been implemented. 10 percent believe that all or most of its provisions have been implemented and an additional 11 percent aren't sure one way or another.
In fact, some important provisions have already been implemented. Temporary insurance pools have been created to cover people who can't get insurance because of pre-existing conditions. The new law eliminated lifetime benefit caps and pre-existing condition exclusions for children, and children up to age 26 can remain covered under their parents' insurance. It also introduced state-based rate review of insurance premium increases, as well as standards for how much insurance companies have to spend on health care.
Many other provisions – such as health insurance exchanges, measures to cover as many as 33 million uninsured Americans and the guaranteed issue of insurance coverage – will not be implemented until 2014.
Those who want to repeal ... favor many reforms
20 percent of Americans want the law to be repealed without replacing it. Another 19 percent want the law repealed and replaced with a Republican alternative.
Among those surveyed who want the law repealed ...
- 70 percent want to give tax credits to small business as an incentive to those employers to provide coverage
- 60 percent want to gradually close the Medicare Part D donut hole
- 52 percent want to provide financial help for low- and moderate-income Americans in need of coverage
- 58 percent support a voluntary long-term care insurance program
- 56 percent support the idea that health plans should insure people regardless of their health, age, gender or other factors that might predict the use of health services
All of the above are major reforms included in the Affordable Care Act.
The more you know, the more you like it
The Kaiser Family Foundation, in summarizing its recent survey, wrote: "People who like the new law and think they will be better off are more likely to be familiar with what the law does or does not entail."
In other words, the more people learned about the new law, the more they liked it.
And isn't that what mom used to say?