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Americans Still Split Over New Health Reform Law
Date:4/30/2010

A majority supports expanding insurance, but most say the measure makes the wrong changes, poll finds

FRIDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- One month after President Barack Obama signed the historic health-reform bill into law, Americans remain divided on the measure, with many people still unsure how it will affect them, a new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll finds.

Supporters and opponents of the reform package are roughly equally divided, 42 percent to 44 percent respectively, and most of those who oppose the new law (81 percent) say it makes the "wrong changes."

"They are shoveling it down our throats without explaining it to the American people, and no one knows what it entails," said a 64-year-old female Democrat who participated in the poll.

Thirty-nine percent said the new law will be "bad" for people like them, and 26 percent aren't sure.

About the only thing that people agreed on -- by a 58 percent to 24 percent majority -- is that the legislation will provide many more Americans with adequate health insurance.

"The public is divided partly because of ideological reasons, partly because of partisanship and partly because most people don't see this as benefiting them. They see it as benefiting the uninsured," said Humphrey Taylor, chairman of The Harris Poll, a service of Harris Interactive.

Some 15.4 percent of the population, or 46.3 million Americans, lack health insurance coverage, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Those 2008 figures, however, do not count people who recently lost health insurance coverage amid widespread job losses.

The centerpiece of the voluminous health reform package is an expansion of health insurance. By 2019, an additional 32 million uninsured people will gain coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The measure also allows young adults to stay on their parents' health insurance plan until age 26,
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