Poll: Many Don’t Know Health Care Reform Law Still Exists

Photo (cc) by kenteegardin

Forty-two percent of Americans don’t know that the Affordable Care Act is still in effect, a new Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll shows.

Among those people:

  • 12 percent think Congress got rid of it. (It’s true the Republican-controlled U.S. House has tried literally dozens of times.)
  • 7 percent think the Supreme Court did. (It’s true that both Fox News and CNN wrongly reported that in the minutes after the ruling last summer.)
  • 23 percent said they didn’t know enough to say whether the law existed or not. That’s a record high since KFF began tracking public awareness three years ago.

Nearly half of Americans say they don’t know enough about the law to know how or whether it will affect them. More than half of those who stand to benefit most from the changes — the uninsured and low-income households — feel that way.

Forty percent have an unfavorable view of the law, while 35 percent have a favorable one. President Obama said at a press conference Tuesday that the administration is still making refinements to the regulations used to implement the law. One of those is a streamlined application form for the uninsured, The Associated Press says.

Healthcare.gov provides information about the law and how it affects everyone. It has help for getting insurance, plus a timeline for the law, which continues to be implemented in phases through 2015. We’ve also written quite a bit about it — check out the links below.

But here are a few key upcoming points about the still very-real health care law:

Beginning in October, new insurance exchanges will open for enrollment in every state.

At the same time, tax credits will become available to help many people afford their premiums.

Beginning in January, most of those who can afford insurance and refuse coverage will pay a fine. There are exceptions (check out this flow chart) and the amount will increase over time, but will initially be the greater of $95 per adult and $47.50 per child or 1 percent of family income. For example, that would be $285 for parents with two kids and a household income of $28,500.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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