Uninsured Largely Unaware Of Benefits Coming From Overhaul | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Uninsured Largely Unaware Of Benefits Coming From Overhaul

Play associated audio

When it comes to last year's Affordable Care Act, there's not much people agree on. Except, says Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman, this one thing: "It really does help the uninsured; 32 million uninsured people will get coverage."

But according to the foundation's latest monthly tracking poll, it appears that only about half of uninsured people have any idea that help is on the way. And fewer than a third (31 percent) say they think the law will help them obtain health insurance.

Those two things are clearly linked. Among those lacking insurance, 41 percent incorrectly think the law lacks provisions to help those with modest means pay for health insurance (7 percent said they didn't know) and 37 percent incorrectly said the law doesn't include an expansion of the Medicaid program to low-income, able-bodied adults (16 percent weren't sure).

The logical conclusion, Altman wrote in an accompanying column, is an apparent "communications failure" on the part of the law's supporters to explain how the measure will actually work. But in that column and a subsequent interview, Altman said there's more to it than that.

"What's going on here is people who are uninsured are busy just trying to make it through the week, paycheck to paycheck," he says. Meanwhile, he adds, "they're listening to a confusing political debate."

But the bottom line, he says, is that the health overhaul will probably start to sink in in 2014, "when there are benefits out there, real coverage out there that people can look at — and can get...."

That's when people without insurance will really make a judgment about whether they can afford insurance or they like the law or it helps them. "Until then," Altman says, "it's just a political debate."

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

An Updated 'Annie' And The Tradition Of Nontraditional Casting

As an African-American Annie arrives on movie screens, critic Bob Mondello looks at other cross-cultural reinventions, from Pearl Bailey's Dolly to the Americanization of Carmen as Carmen Jones.
NPR

Japan's Butter Shortage Whips Its Cake Makers Into A Frenzy

For the Japanese, Christmastime means sponge cake. But a nationwide butter shortage has lead to mandatory butter rationing, forcing cake bakers to seek out substitutes.
WAMU 88.5

Hogan Cabinet Appointments Announced In Annapolis

Maryland governor-elect Larry Hogan will announce some of his cabinet appointments today, but there's no early indication which positions he will fill.

NPR

Major Movie Theater Chains Drop 'The Interview' After Threats

Audie Cornish talks with LA Times Hollywood Editor Joe Bel Bruno about the latest surrounding hacker threats to Sony and theaters showing the film, The Interview.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.