Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Understanding the Affordable Care Act

Here are two entertaining videos featuring Jack Black (Part 2 below) that satirize a very real occurrence going on across the country. The fierce debates that persisted in the run up to the new health reform law brought with them a slew of falsities and misinformation; death panels, socialized medicine, and jail-time for those who don't buy insurance are a few of the more popular ones. One of my personal favorites is 'national insurance cards with computer chips that monitor your every move.' Poll after poll currently show a roughly 50-50 split in support/opposition of the new law. That's not what concerns me. It is polls like this one that are most troubling:

I don't discount that the bill is incredibly complex. It is. The problem lies in the fact that opposition groups have taken advantage of this knowledge gap to create widespread confusion in the hope to weaken it's fundamental provisions.

What is most interesting are the surveys showing that when taken by it's individual components (guaranteed issue of insurance, subsidies to make insurance affordable, investing in primary care), these provisions are overwhelmingly supported, some by a 9 to 1 margin. And when these basic components are explained to poll responders before asking their opinion on the law, the favorability margin increases significantly.

The new law is not perfect, and it is crucial that our conversations revolve around how to improve it over the following years of implementation. National debate is what makes our country great, but it is important to stay in the realm of reality.

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