July 29, 2010
Confusion Over the US Health Reform Bill
The latest poll out today from the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health-care-policy research organization, says only 27 percent of the public has been following the 2010 health reform debate closely. Despite this, more than half (56 percent) of Americans think health reform is more important than ever. Very smart people are zoning out of the health care reform debate because they think it’s just too complicated. The complexities of US health reform are a problem, because American citizens and politicians cannot make good decisions about an issue they do not clearly ...view middle of the document...
John Cornyn (R-Texas) told CBSnews.com. "We've seen that there are side deals that have been cut," Cornyn said. Lapook continues to quote Cornyn stating, "So we need to know not only the conceptual language, we need to know the detailed legislative language, and we need to know what kind of secret deals have been cut on the side which would have an impact on how much this bill is going to cost and how it will affect health care in America.”
Older Americans can be especially at risk for being uniformed. According to James Firman, president and CEO of NCOA (National Council on Aging), "The health reform debate was long and complicated and often dominated by political spin that confused seniors". A poll was conducted by Harris Interactive(R) for NCOA by telephone within the United States from July 9-12, 2010 among a nationwide cross section of 636 adults aged 65 and over, supported by a grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies. According to David Krane, of Harris Interactive(R), who conducted the poll, "Seniors are certainly confused about the Affordable Care Act, but interestingly, many of them also overestimated their own degree of knowledge”. Krane explains that those who said they were very familiar, or familiar with the law only fared somewhat better than those who self-identified as not familiar. In the very familiar and familiar categories, 65% got less than half the answers right, compared with 85% of the people who self-identified as "not familiar". Even among the older adults who said they considered themselves very familiar (9%) or familiar (12%) with the new law, correct answers were few and far between according to Krane, calling into question how well people were able to assess their understanding of the Affordable Care Act.
As if there are not enough questions about the law, con artists are taking advantage of the lack of understanding. Con artists in several states are seizing on the public's financial struggles and confusion about the recent health care overhaul. In an article by the US Newswire titled “Most Seniors Misinformed, Unaware of Key Provisions of the Affordable Care Act, New Poll from the National Council on Aging Reveals", James Quiggle, a spokesman for the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud provided the following quote “confusion is the scammer's best friend". The article reveals all of the following scams. In Illinois, a telemarketer recently sold an elderly woman a fraudulent health insurance plan that supposedly protected her against death panels. In...