A new survey by the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation reveals the poor job Washington is doing in getting across its message regarding the state of health care reform. According to the poll, a full 22 percent of Americans believe the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s landmark healthcare legislation, has already been repealed, and another 26 percent weren’t sure. As Kaiser Family Foundation CEO Drew Altman, quoted in Time Magazine, puts it, “It is obvious that the knowledge of basic civics is pretty low.”
At the height of the health care debate, polls indicated that Americans remained confident in their work-sponsored health insurance, despite evidence that it was slowly eroding and the Democrats’ insistence that the system needed an overhaul. Among seniors, many believed Democrats planned to gut Medicare, even though the health care act preserves basic Medicare benefits and extends the life of the program.
Altman noted that more Republicans believe the law has been repealed (30 percent) than Democrats (12 percent), so there may be some partisan wishful thinking going on. Nonetheless, it is clear that the public needs some education on the legislative process. Schoolhouse Rock, anyone?