(Actually, I’m not posting this entire article which Mr. Zaldivar has reported with Mr Tomson, but only excerpting from it , as he followed this up with a further article today which I would also like to include (partially). . . the latter done jointly with Jennifer Agiesta – – busy man, job well-done.. . then finally, comments of my own conclude. Jan)
Health-care law poorly understood
Poll finds that both supporters and foes aren’t really sure what’s in it
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Trevor Tompson ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON — Six months after President Barack Obama signed the landmark health-care law, the nation still doesn’t really know what’s in it. More than half of Americans mistakenly think the overhaul will raise taxes for most people this year, an Associated Press poll finds. But that would be true only if most people were devoted to indoor tanning, which got hit with a sales tax. Many who wanted the health-care system to be overhauled don’t realize that some provisions they cared about actually did make it in. And about a quarter of supporters don’t understand that something hardly anyone wanted didn’t make it: They mistakenly say the law will set up panels of bureaucrats to make decisions about people’s care — what critics labeled “death panels.”
The uncertainty and confusion amount to a dismal verdict for the Obama administration’s campaign to win over public opinion. Before the final votes in Congress, Obama personally assured wavering Democrats that he’d take the case to the American people after the law passed. But it hasn’t worked. And in the final stretch before the midterm elections, Republicans are united by their call for repeal.
“I’m insecure about a document that was as big as the health-care bill and wonder if anybody understands exactly what’s in it,” said Diann Kelley, 61, a retiree from Marietta, Ga., who said she’s “somewhat opposed” to the law. “The main fear is the cost,” Kelley explained. “I’m not sure that we can afford to take on something quite as massive as the health-care reform with the economy the way it is.” It’s not that Kelley has a negative opinion about everything in the law. The prohibition on health-insurance companies denying coverage to people because of preexisting medical conditions “is really a fine idea,” she said.
The questions in the poll, conducted by Stanford University with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, included as true-or-false quiz on 19 item. People were asked how confident they were about their answers. For the most part, majorities picked the right answers. But a sizable number also got things wrong. And, right or wrong, people were unsure of their answers. Two-thirds or more were uncertain about their responses on eight of nine core provisions of the legislation. Analysis of the findings indicated a split as far as the impact of accurate knowledge, between Democrats and independents on one side and Republicans on the other. Accurate knowledge of the law made no difference in overwhelming opposition from Republicans. Michael Cagnina, 33, a web developer from Powhatan, Va., summed it up: “It just doesn’t make me feel comfortable that the government is going to give people free health care but ultimately the government’s money is my money.”
However, for Democrats and independents, the more accurate knowledge that people had of the bill, the more they liked it. “Among Democrats and independents, the lack of knowledge is suppressing public approval of the bill,” said Stanford political-science professor Jon Krosnick. “Although the president and others have done a great deal to educate people about what is in this bill, the process has not been particularly successful.”
Overall, three out of 10 in the poll said they favored the law, while four in 10 said they were opposed. Thirty percent were neutral. The survey was conducted Aug. 31 to Sept. 7 and involved interviews with 1,251 randomly chosen adults. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.
Many wish health-care law did more, poll finds
They outnumber 2-to-1 Americans who don’t want government involved
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Jennifer Agiesta ASSOCIATED PRESS
Republican leaders have promised to dismantle President Barack Obama’s health-care plan.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul has divided the nation, and Republicans think their call for repeal will help them win elections in November. But the picture’s not that clear-cut.
A new Associated Press poll finds that Americans who think the law should have done more outnumber by 2-to-1 those who think the government should stay out of health care. “I was disappointed that it didn’t provide universal coverage,” said Bronwyn Bleakley, 35, a biology professor from Easton, Mass. More than 30 million people are expected to gain coverage in 2019 when the law is fully phased in, but an additional 20 million are to remain uninsured. Bleakley, who was uninsured early in her career, views the overhaul as a work in progress.
The poll found that about four in 10 adults think the law did not go far enough to change the health-care system, regardless of whether they support the law, oppose it or remain neutral. On the other side, about one in five say they oppose the law because they think the federal government should not be involved in health care at all.
The AP poll was conducted by Stanford University with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Overall, 30 percent favored the legislation, while 40 percent opposed it, and 30 percent remained neutral. Those numbers are no endorsement for Obama’s plan, but the survey also found a deep- seated desire for change that could pose a problem for Republicans. Only 25 percent in the poll said minimal tinkering would suffice for the health-care system. Brian Braley, 49, a tech industry worker from Mesa, Ariz., wants Washington to keep its hands off. “I think it’s a Trojan horse,” Braley said of the health-care law. “It’s a communist, socialist scheme. All the other countries that have tried this, they’re billions in debt, and they admit this doesn’t work.” If Republicans succeed in tearing out what they dismiss as “Obama- care” by the roots, GOP leaders would still find themselves in a quandary.
Republicans “are going to have to contend with the 75 percent who want substantial changes in the system,” said Stanford political-science professor Jon Krosnick, who directed the university’s participation. “Republican legislators’ passion to repeal the legislation is understandable if they are paying attention to members of their own party,” Krosnick added. “But if they want to be responsive to all Americans, there are more Democrats and Independents than there are Republicans.”
Health-care proposals released by House Republican leaders last week would create new insurance options for people with medical problems and for small businesses, but they’re likely to cover a fraction of those who would be reached by Obama’s law. The poll did find some agreement among people who think the law should do more and those who think government should get out. Broad majorities of both the “get-outs” and “do-mores” said medical care, health insurance and prescription drugs cost too much. And most said the system should aim to increase the number of people with insurance and enable Americans to get the care they need, while improving quality.
The differences emerge when it comes to the means:
- Only 25 percent of the “get-outs” favor requiring health-insurance companies to sell coverage to people regardless of pre-existing medical conditions, while 54 percent of the “do-mores” support it. The law requires insurers to cover children regardless of health problems starting this year, and that protection is extended to people of all ages in 2014.
- Among those who want a law that does more, 68 percent favor requiring medium to large companies to provide insurance to their workers or pay a fine; that stands at 28 percent among those who want the government out. The law does not require employers to offer coverage, but it hits companies that have 50 or more workers with a penalty if any full-time employee gets a government subsidy for health insurance.
- The “get-outs” overwhelmingly reject the health-care law’s requirement that most Americans carry health insurance starting in 2014. But the “do-mores” are split, with 34 percent favoring the mandate, 33 percent opposing it, and 32 percent neutral.
The survey was conducted Aug. 31 to Sept. 7, and involved interviews with 1,251 randomly chosen adults nationwide. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points. The survey was conducted by Knowledge Networks, which first chose people for the study using randomly generated telephone numbers and home addresses. Participants were interviewed online. Participants without Internet access were provided it free.
Too many of us are wounded and unhappy
Our country spent so much in time, money, energy and argument and after all was done and over with – no one is happy or satisfied. People like ME. I bitched and moaned because without the single- payer system in place, there would be no chance to cut costs – REALLY cut them and eliminate waste which we all know is rampant. Medicare for everybody! To hell with the insurance companies – they have tons of other things to cover and make their fortunes from. Health should not even be in the same discussion with the interests of Insurance companies. Medicare has been a huge success. So, yeah – I’m in that camp, big time.
When our President ran on his platform, we were all for it. AND sick of everything we had been through for too many years. Here was a man who understood what was needed and had a plan. But once in office, stuff changed and I rather suppose there is a lot more to being President than any of us can imagine. His hair is not turning gray overnight for no reason!.. . .of course its not easy and there is a lot more to it than we will ever know. AND if memory doesn’t fail, our country was in pretty crappy shape facing perils not seen in nearly 80 years. He had a lot of juggling to do and frankly, I WAS pleased with his handling of our major crisis.
I feel cheated and disillusioned with everything going on in Washington. Too much farting around and not enough actually getting done. Many things most of us feel strongly about. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, cleaning up the financial mess that caused all the madness in the first place and putting the crooks away – – we were incapable to lay blame, let alone punish the offenders. This is most definitely NOT bringing “change” to Washington as promised. Bailing out the big banks and institutions, but unable to really affect the kind of change needed for Main street. The Banks are STILL too big to fail. So stuff wasn’t good.
Not well-served by his Advisers
Our President tried too hard to be fair with the Republicans to his loss as the only thing they wanted from him was his failure – never any intention for cooperation. Our country has paid a heavy price in time lost, Democratic party split as the Blue Dogs decided their interests were not being served and walked away from the enormous unity they had had only a few months prior.
As to the health-care issue, mostly we acquiesced realizing that something was better than nothing after all this time and perhaps we “could” further correct and amend – down the line – just get some thing passed – so collectively, we held our noses and went for it. In fairness, Obama can not be blamed as we were all in disagreement and no happy solution could be worked out by then.
I wish he had been stronger and had more fire in his belly – Johnson he is not!
I wish his staff or advisers had been bright enough to keep him abreast of the desire and mood of the people. One can not accomplish much with the opposition party so partison and antagonistic to the point of harming the country to get what they want. Or with one’s own party rebelling and splintering off and finally, the people losing all faith in him feeling that he had let them down. I’ve been guilty of that too, sorry to say – tho I really know better. He is who he is and he IS a good man working against almost impossible odds.
But lets be straight. Obama has not abandoned us – we are abandoning him! We can’t get there from here – it ain’t gonna happen. A country divided can not stand. . . and we seem to be doing a pretty good job of crumbling, all around.
Perhaps no one knows what the “Tea-Partyers” really want as it doesn’t appear they know what they want either including the rest of the Republican Party. They appear to be undisciplined brats seeing how much they can get away with. At this point, almost everyone in America wants something other than what we can see right now. No one is satisfied. No one, left – right, black-white-yellow or brown, male-female, gay-straight. . .I have never seen it worse. There seems to be poison at work from the inside out
And yet, under it all, we are all Americans. Each of us want the best for the country and for our selves. Our security is shaken, many are sinking, losing too much. When people are scared and without direction and then lose hope, we have come too far down an ugly road. Not good for anybody or anything. Perhaps the time for a little introspection would be appropriate. If we seek solutions, surely we realize – this is not the way to get it. As Americans, pulling in harmony as one country, we can do anything. To destroy one another with all this hate and animosity will leave us a nation of crippled has-beens who coulda been – – great. Choice is everything.
We are so “worth it” . . . .but we have to “do” it