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The latest from the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation found the uninsured are the uninformed- least aware of how it could help them. The survey also says those that have insurance now have the greatest fears.
And over half of the nation say that the opposition- primarily House Republicans - should continue to block the law.
With 6 months to go before full implementation the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation has found :
- Four in ten Americans (42%) are unaware that health care reform is still the law of the land, including 12 percent who believe the law has been repealed by Congress, 7 percent who believe it has been overturned by the Supreme Court and 23 percent who say they don’t know enough to say what the status of the law is.
- About half the public (49%) says they do not have enough information about the health reform law to understand how it will impact their own family.
- The share of the public who says they lack enough information to understand how the ACA will affect their family is higher among two groups the law is likely to benefit most – the uninsured (58% of whom say they lack enough information) and low-income households (56% say so).
"We think there is going to be a real outrage and a very real concern for employers,"
" (There is) Major confusion and it's not just from the subscribers standpoint," says Colleen DiPirro, Executive Director of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce, adding that she expects the early confusion to eventually be replaced by anger at higher premiums.
" Carriers have different opinions of what the implication of different aspects of Health Care Reform are going to mean. and a great example is how premiums are going to be predicated on your 2012 tax return. What if someone files an extension? No one knows the answer to that today," DiPirro says.
DiPirro's chamber is training staff so it can open an insurance brokerage and still serve small business groups that currently band together through chambers of commerce to buy group insurance policies. And under reform, she predicts premiums will soar for such groups.
"We are very concerned because we currently have about 1,800 subscribers and about 60 to 70 percent of those people think that come January 1 they're not going to have to pay health care premiums anymore. And we are looking at premiums going up anywhere from 20 to 40 percent with a huge deductible.," Di Pirro says.
The president says despite what he calls "sky is falling" predictions, the Affordable Care Act's provisions are already in place for those with health insurance.
He says what's left is to help those Americans who don't have health care coverage to obtain it. He acknowledged that is "a big undertaking" and predicted there could still be some glitches as the details are worked out.
Obama was speaking at a news conference Tuesday at the White House.
If you're uninsured, getting on Medicaid clearly improves your mental health, but it doesn't seem to make much difference in physical conditions such as high blood pressure, according to a new study.
(AP) The counterintuitive findings by researchers at Harvard and MIT, from an experiment involving low-income, able-bodied Oregonians, appear in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine. The study offers a twist for states weighing a major Medicaid expansion under President Barack Obama's health care law, to serve a similar population of adults around the country.
"The study did not generate any evidence that Medicaid coverage translated to measurable improvements in physical health outcomes over a two-year window," said lead researcher Katherine Baicker of the Harvard School of Public Health. "It did generate robust improvements in mental health and enormous reductions in financial strain and hardship."
That leaves policymakers with "a much more nuanced and complex picture" of the potential benefits of expanding Medicaid, said Baicker, an economist.
It also debunks a widespread perception that having Medicaid is no better, and maybe even worse, than being uninsured. A federal-state partnership, Medicaid covers more than 55 million low-income and severely disabled people, ranging from poor children to nursing home residents. It pays providers less than Medicare or private insurance.
Obama's health care law envisioned expanding Medicaid to anyone making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line, or nearly $15,860 for an individual. About 15 million people - mostly adults with no children living at home - could eventually be covered if all states expand. But the Supreme Court last year gave states the right to reject the expansion without jeopardizing the rest of their federal Medicaid funds.
The study found that having Medicaid reduced rates of depression by 30 percent and virtually eliminated catastrophic medical expenses due to a serious accident or the sudden onset of a life-threatening illness. People with Medicaid had better access to doctors, preventive care, prescriptions and hospitals. They also used their benefits, consuming about $1,200 a year more per person in health care services than do the uninsured.
But Medicaid had no significant effect on blood-pressure readings, high cholesterol or elevated blood sugar levels, although it did increase the probability that people with diabetes would be diagnosed.
The study is unusual because it took advantage of a state policy decision to create a natural experiment. A 2008 Medicaid expansion in Oregon used lottery drawings from a waiting list to determine who would get coverage. That created two populations: those who got in, and those left out - a control group of people who remained mostly uninsured. Comparing the two randomly selected groups gives the research a high degree of scientific rigor.
"This study did not or could not address many important health benefits of health insurance, including early detection of cancer, a reduction in sick days from school or work, and a reduction in mortality," wrote Richard Kronick and Andrew Bindman, health policy experts with the federal Health and Human Services department.
Lead researcher Baicker said it's possible that having insurance alone isn't enough to get control of lifestyle-related health problems like high cholesterol. "That said," she emphasized, "there are known treatments for these conditions, and the clinical literature suggests improvements are gettable within less than two years."
Expanded Medicaid will be available starting Jan. 1, and uninsured people can start signing up this fall. So far, 21 states plus Washington, D.C., have accepted the expansion, while 14 states have turned it down. Another 15 states are still weighing options.
Nearly all the states refusing are led by Republicans. Several of the states accepting have Republican governors, but most are led by Democrats. Washington will pick up the entire cost of the expansion for the first three years, and 90 percent over the longer haul. It's estimated that less than $100 billion in state spending could trigger nearly $1 trillion in federal dollars over a decade.