Every major newspaper is reporting on the third anniversary of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul today. During those three contentious years, we have gone through two elections and one Supreme Court decision.
As of today, the Affordable Care Act is still facing opposition from Republican state leaders, and this could lead to a potpourri of results. As a matter of fact, officials in more than half the states have yet to formulate new insurance markets, requiring that the federal government step in and finish the job.
With 26 states scrambling to connect uninsured residents to coverage just months from now, officials are finding that in the rest of the states, it's as if the Affordable Care Act didn't even exist.
A Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll done on March 5-10, 2013 found that fully Sixty-seven percent of the uninsured younger than age 65 — and 57 percent of the overall population — say they do not understand how the ACA will impact them. A total of 1,204 individuals were surveyed, with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.
The poll showed that the public actually knew less about the health care act provisions now than they did three years ago. Hardly anyone was familiar with tax credits to small businesses to buy insurance, subsidy assistance for individuals and guaranteed issuance of health insurance.
All in all, the federal government, state governments and advocates in the health care industry have a big job ahead of them in educating the public before October, 2014. It is important that a cross-section of America is signed up for Medicaid and the new exchanges, otherwise the pool will likely be filled with our sickest individuals and insurance premiums could very well go up.