A recent Kaiser Health Tracking Poll found that eight out of 10 Americans know that President Obama signed the reform legislation into law – but 55 percent say they are confused about the law and more than half (56 percent) say they don’t yet have enough information to understand how it will affect them personally.
The poll found that the public supports many of the health reform provisions set to be implemented in the short term. When asked about 11 specific provisions scheduled to take effect this year, in each case a majority of Americans viewed them favorably, often with bipartisan support.
Still, the public remains divided on the law overall, with 46 percent viewing it favorably, 40 percent unfavorably, and 14 percent undecided. Similarly, 31 percent of Americans say they expect personally to be better off because of the law, while 32 percent say they will be worse off and 30 percent say they don’t expect to be affected.
2010 provisions have bipartisan support
The new law was designed to include provisions that take effect in the first year so that the public would see tangible results more immediately. The poll tested the popularity of many of these early measures and found they had widespread support across the political spectrum, including among Republicans and independents.
Nearly nine out of 10 Americans favor providing tax credits to small businesses that want to provide coverage for their workers, for instance. And roughly eight out of 10 have favorably view provisions that would offer access to basic preventive care with no copayments, provide financial help to seniors who hit the gap in Medicare drug coverage known as the “doughnut hole,” and end insurance companies’ practice of dropping coverage if a person has a major health problem.
In each of these cases, at least two-thirds of Republicans and independents join most Democrats in viewing the provisions favorably.
Americans are more confused than angry about health reform