Only 35 Percent Of Americans Oppose ACA As Too Liberal
|Jack Bernard; Jack Bernard|
Over the last three years, public opinion has been shifting increasingly toward the more liberal end of the spectrum. In 2010, only 39 percent favored the law, with 43 percent saying it was too liberal and 13 percent saying it was not liberal enough.
What concerns me is that parts of the media have twisted and distorted these facts when communicating with the public. According to the lead paragraph of the CNN website "politicalticker" recently:
"A majority of Americans still oppose the nation's new health care measure, three years after it became law, according to a new survey." Technically true, but very misleading. I am in the 13 percent who believe that
The story goes on to say: "43 percent of the public says it supports the health care law, a figure that's mostly unchanged in CNN polling since the measure was passed."
Talk about misleading journalism coming from one of our most trusted sources. Now, 59 percent of people are either in favor of the ACA or want it to be more progressive, compared to only 52 percent who felt that way in 2010. As opposed to what CNN states, statistically that is a very significant change in only three years. The real question should be "Why hasn't support grown even faster for the ACA or a more progressive option?"
Most folks have absolutely no idea what is in the ACA, given that the law has not been fully implemented and is widely misunderstood. In fact, many do not even know what "ACA" stands for at all. They just know "Obamacare" as a derogatory term because, coached by
Due to the overwhelming complexity of the law itself, mainstream media commentators and elected officials are hesitant to clarify the ACA to the public by stating the facts. At the same time, right wing talk show hosts and politicians, some of whom certainly must know better, rail on continually (and incorrectly) about Obamacare being socialism, killing people and destroying our way of life. These conservative extremists care little for the facts; they prey on emotion and fear.
As someone who is trying to be objective and explain the ACA to the everyday family oriented working person who does not have the time to read academic treatises, here is my simplified take on a few select aspects of the law that seem to be the most misunderstood. The ACA:
* Retains the private, for-profit insurance model, versus going to a governmental model such as
* Attempts to expand coverage to those in need via
* Has some very limited cost containment measures in the law, but there are no draconian measures forcing rationing. There are no "death panels" in the law, despite the rhetoric designed to scare citizens.
* Will not ask small businesses with under 50 people to cover its workers. These employees will get private insurance on their own via "exchanges" set up by states and/or the feds (or be taxed).
* Requires businesses with over 50 full-time employees to cover folks who work over 30 hours weekly or pay a penalty. Businesses with over 200 employees must automatically enroll their full-time employees, although the employee can opt out if he/she chooses to do so.
* Individuals must get health insurance one way or the other or face a gradually increasing tax. The misunderstood "health exchanges" are being set up by the Feds and states to help this along. The concept is to spread the risk among young and old, healthy and sick.
I have stated repeatedly in commentaries nationwide that single payer (
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