Americans Don’t Want (Or Understand) Obamacare But Want Its Benefits

A Kaiser Health Tracking Poll had a number of findings including that young adults want and value health insurance, the uninsured also see health coverage as important but there are cost barriers to getting it, and that those with per-existing conditions face particular problems.

With views such as these, one might expect Obamacare to be widely popular, but it is not. Some who have unfavorable views of Obamacare feel it doesn’t go far enough. Far more are probably basing their views on the vast amount of misinformation being spread. There are signs of public ignorance about the law in this poll, as in many others. For example, this poll shows that only one in five have heard of the health care exchanges. It is hard to have a meaningful opinion as to Obamacare when unaware of what is in the law.

Think Progress reviewed the benefits of Obamacare to the young:

One Obamacare provision has spared 3.1 million Americans from that fate by allowing them to stay on their parents’ insurance plan longer, up to age 26. A May study concluded that saved these young Americans from running up $147 million in high medical bills for treating serious injuries, such as broken bones and traumatic brain injuries, in 2011 alone.

Even more young Americans will experience Obamacare’s fiscal protections as it is fully implemented — particularly those who are too old to qualify for the 26-year-old rule or those who don’t receive insurance through their employer. Early figures indicate that these Americans will be able to buy affordable coverage on Obamacare’s statewide marketplaces, since the health law provides federal subsidies that help pay for insurance premiums. For instance, a young, relatively healthy adult in California who wants health insurance but can’t currently afford it could wind up paying less than $170 per month — or even less if he or she has a lower income — for a “Bronze-level” plan that offers a minimum level of benefits, including for prescription drugs and mental health care.

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