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Archive for Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Poll: Health care law making us muddle-minded

September 22, 2010

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— Six months after President Barack Obama signed the landmark health care law, the nation still doesn’t really know what’s in it.

More than half of Americans mistakenly believe the overhaul will raise taxes for most people this year, an Associated Press poll finds. But that would be true only if most people were devoted to indoor tanning, which got hit with a sales tax.

Many who wanted the health care system to be overhauled don’t realize that some provisions they cared about actually did make it in. And about a quarter of supporters don’t understand that something hardly anyone wanted didn’t make it: They mistakenly say the law will set up panels of bureaucrats to make decisions about people’s care — what critics labeled “death panels.”

The uncertainty and confusion amount to a dismal verdict for the Obama administration’s campaign to win over public opinion. Before the final votes in Congress, Obama personally assured wavering Democrats he’d take the case to the American people after the law passed.

But it hasn’t worked. And in the final stretch before the midterm elections Republicans are united by their call for repeal.

The poll’s questions included a true-or-false quiz on 19 items, some of which are in the law and others not. People were also asked how confident they were about their answers.

For the most part, majorities picked the right answers. But a sizable number also got things wrong.

And right or wrong, people were unsure of their answers. Two-thirds or more were uncertain about their responses on eight of nine core provisions of the legislation.

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