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Many Americans unsure about health reform law's effects

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 4, 2010

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A majority of recently polled Americans know some key things about the health reform law, but in many cases a significant percentage of respondents were unsure about their answers, says a survey done for The Associated Press by Stanford University and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and released on Sept. 21.

For example, although 58% of those surveyed said the law will help poor Americans buy health insurance, 35% of all respondents were slightly sure or unsure the law would do this. Also, 78% said the law would let dependents remain on their parents' health coverage until age 26, but 27% were slightly sure or unsure if that was accurate. Fifty-nine percent correctly said the law bans health insurance companies from placing lifetime limits on coverage, but 36% were slightly sure or unsure about that.

A majority of respondents answered a few questions inaccurately. For example, 52% said the law will raise taxes on most Americans this year; however, the only immediate tax increase is on tanning beds.

Survey results are available online (link).

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/10/04/gvbf1004.htm.

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