Despite never-ending punditry, a 24-hour news cycle, and oh-so-insightful posts on Facebook, a majority of Americans are unsure how the Affordable Care Act will impact them. A fair number of people also appear confused about what's actually in the law, according to a recent Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation poll.
When asked how much they know about their state's plan to run a health insurance exchange, 77 percent said that they know nothing at all or only a little. Roughly the same percentage — 78 percent — haven't heard enough news to know if their state will expand Medicaid.
There's also a fair amount of confusion about what's actually in the law. For instance, 44 percent of respondents believe that the law cuts benefits to people enrolled in Medicare. Another 40 percent say that the law creates a government panel that will make end-of-life decisions for Medicare beneficiaries. Neither of those things is in the law.
Here are some other interesting findings:
- 74 percent are aware of the individual mandate.
- 58 percent know that the law calls for health insurance exchanges.
- 46 percent understand that the law closes the Part D “doughnut hole.”
- 55 percent believe that health care costs will grow under the ACA; 49 percent believe costs will get worse for them individually (or as a family).
- 45 percent believe quality of care will get worse.