Polls Show Public Confusion Continues Regarding Health Law Provisions
In three recent polls, large percentages of Americans said the health law would cut Medicare benefits, slash doctors pay and ration health care to patients, all false claims that remain pervasive despite reform supporters' efforts to educate the public, USA Today reports. "Six weeks before the nation's health care delivery system begins a huge transformation, confusion reigns. For example: The debunked idea raised by opponents during congressional debate that 'death panels' could make end-of-life decisions is seen as real by nearly half of those surveyed." Several key health law provisions will go into effect next month, and to make sure consumers take advantage of them, advocates such as the AARP "have embarked on a nationwide education campaign" (Wolf, 8/12).
It's not just the health overhaul that Americans are down on. The Wall Street Journal reports: "Americans are growing more pessimistic about the economy and the war in Afghanistan, and are losing faith that Democrats have better solutions than Republicans, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll." Republican approval is even lower, but Democrats are not polling well in upcoming elections. "The survey suggests that Democrats should expect little if any appreciation from voters for legislative achievements such as overhauling the health care and financial systems" (Wallsten and Gray, 8/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.