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ACA Poll: Public Short on Facts, Long on Opinions
MedPageToday, 2012WASHINGTON -- Four in 10 Americans think the healthcare reform law has already been overturned by the Supreme Court, or they are unsure.
The new figures come from a Kaiser Family Foundation poll released Wednesday, which confirmed what many had believed -- the public has strong opinions but little knowledge about the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Although Supreme Court is still two weeks away from hearing arguments challenging some sections of the law, 14% of those surveyed by the foundation said flat-out, "Yes, the ACA has been overturned by the Supreme Court and it is no longer law."
More than a quarter of respondents said they didn't know the current status of the law (or else they refused to answer the question).
Those with a favorable view of the law were more likely to follow news of it than those with a negative view of the law.
Mollyann Brodie, a Kaiser Family Foundation pollster, who spoke Wednesday at a briefing on the upcoming Supreme Court case, offered a guess as to why American's remain clueless about the law: most of them have not been affected by it.
Most of the law's major provisions -- such as the individual mandate that will require nearly everyone to have health insurance -- don't go into effect until 2014.
Despite the administration's near-constant push to highlight the benefits of the law -- elimination of co-pays for preventive care, raising dependent health coverage to age 26 -- most people don't have real experience with ACA.
When asked about their personal views of the law, 51% said they thought the individual mandate was unconstitutional; 28% thought it was constitutional; and the rest didn't know.
When asked how the Supreme Court would rule on the issue, people tended to project their own opinions on the law.
According to the survey, a full one-quarter of Americans would be angry if the mandate is upheld by the court.