Monday, July 26, 2010

Don't Let The Liars Deceive You

With media attention starting to focus more and more on political primaries and the upcoming November elections, we are going to hear a great deal about health care reform and the Accountable Care Act (ACA).  As to be expected with such a complicated law, it is taking some time to enact all its provisions, and opponents of the law (read: Republicans) are going to try and win political points by opposing the law and calling for its repeal.  (Unless, of course, they try to take credit for it).

I thought it would be a good time to review the popularity of the ACA--the real, honest reforms in the law, as opposed to the nonsense opponents would like you to believe.  This data is from the Kaiser Family Foundation's recent report.  A couple of the more important pieces of information:

There is a majority support for the major reforms in the law, except the individual mandate.  That the individual mandate isn't popular doesn't surprise me at all, but is a necessity to make the law viable.  In enacting the law, the US joins many other countries including Switzerland and the Netherlands in requiring individual insurance.  It should be noted that these countries have successfully managed to cover all of their citizens and have costs no more than 50% of US costs.  There is VERY strong support for health insurance reform, tax credits for employers to better afford providing health insurance for employees, and government subsidies to help pay for premium costs for low-income Americans.

If you separate out respondents' party affiliations, this is what you get:

Self-identified Republican respondents still support the majority of the of the provisions within the law.  Republican candidates and the Tea Party activists will make waves opposing health care reform, but in reality they seem very happy with the reforms the law will enact.

If we could honestly debate this law and its reform, and if individuals were aware of the specific changes and benefits that will result from the law, Republicans would never dream of running on a platform opposing the ACA.  In fact, they might even wish they could REALLY take credit for the law.  If, in honest debate, we stopped calling it "Obamacare" or lying about socialized medicine, etc then we could move forward and make a positive impact for the nation.

Liars only have the advantage if the facts aren't known, and if people accept the falsehoods as truth.  Hopefully, this information will help.  It is clear that these reforms are popular and have broad support.  The net favorable opinion of the law has increased to 48%, and increased awareness of the law's reforms tend to increase positive opinion:

This is a groundbreaking law, that will forever change the way we think of health care in the US.  It is a tremendous step in the right direction.

Don't let the liars deceive you.

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