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Americans Still Confused About Health Reform
Date:7/29/2010

p>And some 28 percent mistakenly said illegal immigrants will have health insurance as a result of the legislation, while 45 percent weren't sure.

One reason people remain confused about the health-reform law is that the U.S. health-care system is complicated, as was the reform package itself, which stretched to more than 2,000 pages, Taylor said.

"The problem for the administration is health-care reform is fiendishly complicated because the health-care system is fiendishly complicated, and it is not politically feasible to tear up the system and build it again," Taylor said. "Instead you have to build on the system that you have. When you try to build on a fiendishly complicated system, you have fiendishly complicated reforms."

Another reason Americans are still unclear about the legislation is timing -- much of the new law won't take effect until 2014, meaning lots of people have yet to see any benefits in their own access to health care or health insurance, said Sara Collins, vice president for affordable health insurance at the Commonwealth Fund in New York City.

"Between now and 2014 there are several provisions that go into effect that will potentially help large numbers of people, including the end to lifetime caps on benefits, an end to rescissions [rejection of medical coverage], and subsidies to help people buy insurance who right now can't afford it," Collins said. "Once people feel the effects of the law, there will be greater understanding."

More information

Read more about the poll methodology and findings at Harris Interactive.

SOURCES: Humphrey Taylor, chairman, The Harris Poll, Harris Interactive, New York City; Sara Collins, Ph.D, vice president, affordable health insurance, Commonwealth Fund, New York City; Harris Interactive/H
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