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Kaiser Foundation Pop Quiz: Assessing Americans' Familiarity With the Health Care Law
Old 02-12-2011, 03:20 PM   #1
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Kaiser Foundation Pop Quiz: Assessing Americans' Familiarity With the Health Care Law

A Kaiser poll on how well the health care reform is understood by the general public. Not so well, it turns out. Of 10 questions (true or false), only 25% can answer 7 or more correctly, and 1/3 are wrong on 6 or more. See the 4 charts here http://www.kff.org/healthreform/upload/8148.pdf

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POP QUIZ: ASSESSING AMERICANS FAMILIARITY WITH THE HEALTH CARE LAW
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is coming up on a year old, but in the midst of continuing debate over the merits of the landmark health care overhaul, how well do Americans understand what the new law will actually do? As the 112th Congress prepared to take office and the discussion of repeal was on the rise, we included a ten question quiz on the December Kaiser Health Tracking Poll to try to answer this question. The quiz asked Americans whether they thought a series of ten provisions were included in the new law, ranging from five items that are part of the law (i.e., Medicaid expansion, changes in private health insurance), to five items that popped up at times in the larger debate but are not in the ACA, such as coverage for illegal immigrants and so called death panels.
GRADING THE PUBLIC
So, how did people do? A quarter scored an impressive grade of 7 to 10 right answers, but less than one percent responded to all 10 questions correctly. On the other end of the spectrum, roughly a third scored 0 to 4, with 2 percent failing to get a single question right. Overall, two]thirds of Americans (65 percent) got five or more answers correct. Most people hovered around the middle, correctly answering 4 to 6 questions.

The two questions with the largest percentage of incorrect answers:
Falsely believe it creates a newly run government insurance plan to be offered along with private plans.
Falsely believe it requires even the smallest businesses to provide health care to their employees (when is it only businesses with 50 employees or more.

It would probably be productive if people were to learn more about the reform before attempting to impede its implementation.
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Old 02-12-2011, 04:08 PM   #2
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It would probably be productive if people were to learn more about the reform before attempting to impede its implementation.
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Old 02-12-2011, 04:09 PM   #3
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It would probably be productive if people were to learn more about the reform before attempting to impede its implementation.
Yeah, it just seems to go on and on. First politicians without a clue about reducing health care costs write a crappy bill which focuses on satisfying interests of powerful supporters and is illusive in detailing what it will cost and how it will be paid for. Now obstructionists jump in and try to impede the implementation of the "reform" without truly understanding all the details. I tell ya, if it's not one thing, it's another........ I truly hope it works out better for the Egyptians.
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:01 PM   #4
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I found the chart on Page 3 to be particularly illuminating. It compares three brackets of quiz scores against a variety of perceptions, sources of 'information', and profile statistics. There are interesting correlations there.
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:43 PM   #5
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It would probably be productive if people were to learn more about the reform before attempting to impede its implementation.
Or cheer it's implementation. Or vote for it as a Congressman.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:26 PM   #6
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The two questions with the largest percentage of incorrect answers:
Falsely believe it creates a newly run government insurance plan to be offered along with private plans.
I find the fact that 73% answered this question incorrectly rather amazing given that the public option issue probably received the greatest amount of media coverage.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:28 PM   #7
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:19 PM   #8
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They should have given the test to Congress.

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Old 02-12-2011, 08:25 PM   #9
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The two questions with the largest percentage of incorrect answers:
Falsely believe it creates a newly run government insurance plan to be offered along with private plans.
Falsely believe it requires even the smallest businesses to provide health care to their employees (when is it only businesses with 50 employees or more.
Heh, heh. Here's a fun way this will be spun in the next election campaign.

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"You told us you didn't want a new government insurance plan! You told us you didn't want the smallest businesses forced to provide health care!"

"We voted for the 'Repealing The Job Killing Health Care Law Act', and are pleased to inform you that there will NOT be a new government insurance plan, and that the smallest businesses will NOT be forced to provide job killing health care!"
Now, that implies that there is a connection between the repeal vote and the current law, although WE know better. Ah, but repeat it often enough, and I guarantee that we'll see a whole bunch of people believe the failed repeal didn't fail, and was responsible somehow for the current state of the law.

So, where do you think we'll hear this meme first?
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:06 AM   #10
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Congress understands health reform and this legislation much better than the general public. This reform, which satisfies so few, is the product of many iterations of compromise and consensus building. Thatís the way the system works, and thatís why it canít simply be repealed and done again.

Funny that people over age 65 have the worst understanding, even though they are much less affected and already benefit from govít sponsored health care.
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:16 AM   #11
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Funny that people over age 65 have the worst understanding, even though they are much less affected and already benefit from govít sponsored health care.
Maybe not, since they had less incentive to follow the debate for the reasons you cite.
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:23 PM   #12
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Congress understands health reform and this legislation much better than the general public.
When you say "congress" I assume you are talking about the present Congress, the one that best represents the present will of the American people. I agree with you. Those representatives (the House) recently voted to repeal this law.


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This reform, which satisfies so few, is the product of many iterations of compromise and consensus building. That’s the way the system works, and that’s why it can’t simply be repealed and done again.
There's no end-date on compromise and consensus building. If the new law doesn't meet with the approval of the present House, we can and should expect them, as our representatives, to do all in their power to implement more appropriate legislation. That's "the way the system works" (or doesn't). Experience (SS implementation, Medicare, etc) has shown that it is important that large,landmark legislation is backed by a broad mandate and broad consensus. This law was rammed through on the thinnest of margins using some fairly shady maneuvers. No one should be surprised that the Good Ship Lollipop is taking on water.
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:14 PM   #13
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It would probably be productive if people were to learn more about the reform before attempting to impede its implementation.
Or become it's most fervent and effusive cheerleader.
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:14 PM   #14
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A Kaiser poll on how well the health care reform is understood by the general public. Not so well, it turns out. Of 10 questions (true or false), only 25% can answer 7 or more correctly, and 1/3 are wrong on 6 or more. See the 4 charts here http://www.kff.org/healthreform/upload/8148.pdf


The two questions with the largest percentage of incorrect answers:
Falsely believe it creates a newly run government insurance plan to be offered along with private plans.
Falsely believe it requires even the smallest businesses to provide health care to their employees (when is it only businesses with 50 employees or more.

It would probably be productive if people were to learn more about the reform before attempting to impede its implementation.

Some people might infer that forcing state insurance exchanges to be a 'newly run government insurance plan'. From what I read, so do some of the states.


It also does not make much difference if they did not force small business to buy insurance... it forces everybody to buy insurance...

Also, the $2,000 is cheaper than the cost of insurance for our company... how many companies are going to just ditch insurance and pay the 'fine'...
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:29 PM   #15
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When you say "congress" I assume you are talking about the present Congress, the one that best represents the present will of the American people. I agree with you. Those representatives (the House) recently voted to repeal this law.
Right. The only Congress we have. The House voted to repeal, the Senate voted to keep. Seems keeping and improving is the preferred option. Time to get back to work.
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There's no end-date on compromise and consensus building. If the new law doesn't meet with the approval of the present House, we can and should expect them, as our representatives, to do all in their power to implement more appropriate legislation. That's "the way the system works" (or doesn't). Experience (SS implementation, Medicare, etc) has shown that it is important that large,landmark legislation is backed by a broad mandate and broad consensus. This law was rammed through on the thinnest of margins using some fairly shady maneuvers. No one should be surprised that the Good Ship Lollipop is taking on water.
Are we talking about the same law? The one that spent a year in the Senate? Reviewed in three different committees? Passed in the Senate 60 to 39 votes? Incorporated ideas from past Republican proposals. The most publicly scrutinized piece of legislation ever produced? If only we had such Senate scrutiny earlier in the decade.

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Old 02-14-2011, 03:58 PM   #16
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Or become it's most fervent and effusive cheerleader.
Careful, you might get a visit from the death panel...
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:24 AM   #17
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Falsely believe it creates a newly run government insurance plan to be offered along with private plans.
obamacare was designed to make health insurance so unprofitable that private insurers get out of the business. obamacare is not what the left calls 'single payer', it's a path designed to quickly lead to it. The truth of the answer depends on whether one is looking short or long term.


> to five items that popped up at times in the larger debate but are not in the ACA, such as coverage for illegal immigrants and so called death panels.

One will not be required to prove citizenship to participate in obamacare. Those people who can say the following with a straight face "It depends on what your definition of 'is' is." are correct, there is no coverage for illegal immigrants under obamacare. Doesn't mean they won't sign up and be cared for by the millions.

Question # 6 states "Allow a government panel to make decisions about end-of-life care for people on Medicare".

If the panels are made of up doctors, nurses or insurance company employees, then the statement is false, but that doesn't mean such decisions won't be made.

If the panel's decisions apply to obamacare (which is separate than Medicare) then the statement is false, but that doesn't mean such decisions won't be made.

Over half of all Medicare expenses are spent during the last two months of a patient's life. Every socialized medicine scheme on the planet makes cost / benefit decisions on what treatment to provide as the end of life approaches. Were the people who responded incorrectly to the quiz statement thinking about the wording of the bill or how it's going to be implemented? I'm sure there are quotes from reid and pelosi about how the details will be worked out over the next few years. Assuming it gets past the Supreme Court, we'll know in a few years who was correct.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:14 PM   #18
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This is truly depressing. Since all ten questions are true/false, random guessing would give 5 correct answers. Here's a table that shows the expected distribution of correct answers with random guessing, and the actual results. I'd guess there is no statistically significant difference.


0. 0%. 2%
1. 1%. 2%
2. 4%. 6%
3 12% 10%
4 21% 16%
5 25% 23%
6 21% 17%
7 12% 14%
8. 4%. 8%
9. 1%. 3%
10 0%. 0%


Since people with unfavorable opinions of the law did noticeably worse than average, they must be doing worse than random guesses.
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