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As Health Care Reform Turns 1, Backers and Detractors Dig In
Date:3/23/2011

Day poll.

The poll also found that Americans remain sharply divided over the merits of the law, with 39 percent of respondents opposed to it, 34 percent in favor of it, and 27 percent still undecided. Predictably, the division reflects respondents' political viewpoints, with 72 percent of Republicans wanting to repeal all or most of the legislation, compared to 15 percent of Democrats.

But a December Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll revealed that people found much to like in the health-reform package. Two-thirds of the respondents said they like the fact that the law prevents insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions. Another 60 percent want to keep the provision for tax credits so small businesses can afford coverage for employees. Fifty-five percent like the idea that the law allows children to stay on their parents' insurance plans until they are 26. And just over half support the idea of new insurance exchanges where people can shop for insurance.

Stoll said much of the confusion stems from the fact that many "people are struggling to understand what the act means for them and their families today, and what it means for them when it is fully implemented in 2014."

For example, people who have insurance now will see no difference when the individual mandate takes effect in 2014, she said.

Stoll said there are parts of the law that have already kicked in that people support -- such as preventing insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions and allowing parents to keep their children on their plans until age 26.

Also, reforms to Medicare will help seniors through the "doughnut hole" -- when they temporarily lose prescription drug coverage -- with lower prices. Some will even be receiving $250 rebates this year, she said.

And seniors are eligible for free preventive care services such as colonoscopies, mammograms and flu shots, Stoll said.

Stoll thinks peop
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