Monday, August 16, 2010

Confusion over health reform still reigns

It’s been nearly five months since the passage of health reform legislation and a surprising number of people remain confused over what the law says. According to a USA Today article, the “need for outreach became apparent in recent weeks following the release of three polls,” showing the extent of the public confusion and misinformation as to health reform.

For example, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, more than 40 percent of respondents believe, incorrectly, that the new law contains a government panel to make end-of-life decisions for Medicare beneficiaries. A Harris Interactive poll found that more than a third of respondents, again incorrectly, believe that health reform included a public option that would compete with private insurers.

USA Today quotes Humphrey Taylor, chairman of the Harris Poll, as calling “the level of ignorance and misinformation” as “astounding.” Taylor suspects that the public is still “reacting to the rhetoric, not the substance” of what’s in the health reform legislation.

If people don’t know what’s in the new law, how can they use it to their benefit?

For more information. For a comprehensive analysis of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and additional information on health reform and other developments in employee benefits, just click here.


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