Knowledge of healthcare law is slipping

People seem to be forgetting what the healthcare reform law does, according to a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The monthly tracking poll found a sharp decline in the number of people who are aware that the new law will offer financial help to people who must buy insurance on their own, rather than getting it from an employer. Last summer, 72 percent of those polled were aware of that benefit. Now its down to 58 percent.

ADVERTISEMENT
Fewer than half of the respondents knew the law expands Medicaid, down from two-thirds a little more than a year ago.

Only 29 percent knew that the law eliminates cost-sharing for some preventive services, and half said the law did not provide that benefit. The poll was conducted just two weeks after the Health and Human Services Department announced that it would require plans to waive cost-sharing for contraception and other womens health services.

And strong majorities approved of that decision, despite not being aware that the healthcare law includes preventive benefits. Eliminating cost-sharing for birth control garnered 66 percent support in the Kaiser poll.

Although support was higher among younger respondents than their older counterparts, partisanship was the sharpest fault line. Fewer than half of Republican respondents approved of HHS’s decision, compared with 64 percent of independents and 82 percent of Democrats.