Home > healthcare reform > Pulling it Together: Health Reform’s Six-Month Checkup – Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling it Together: Health Reform’s Six-Month Checkup – Kaiser Family Foundation

Pulling it Together: Health Reform’s Six-Month Checkup – Kaiser Family Foundation.

Six months after its enactment, there are two totally different stories to tell about the health-reform law. The public remains split on the law largely along traditional partisan lines. Confusion and misperception are rampant, with more than a third of seniors still thinking the law contains “death panels” (it does not). Yet beneath the political battle lies a success story of early implementation: The federal government that many regard as sluggish and ineffective has turned major elements of the legislation into reality right on schedule.

Since the bill’s passage, the Department of Health and Human Services has set up a program to help people with preexisting health conditions get coverage through state or federal high-risk pools; established a program to help employers provide health insurance to early retirees; issued rebates to help pay drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries stuck in the “doughnut hole”; provided tax credits to small businesses to provide insurance coverage; and created a consumer-friendly Web site, http://HealthCare.gov, that rivals anything coming out of Silicon Valley (where our organization is based).

Several popular provisions take effect Thursday. They include allowing adult children up to age 26 to be on their parents’ insurance; banning lifetime benefits caps and loosening annual limits on insurance coverage payouts; prohibiting insurance companies from kicking people off of their policies when they get sick; and requiring that newly purchased insurance policies cover preventive services at no cost to patients.

Views on Health Reform Back to an Even Split (Click to Enlarge)

Still, our monthly polling finds the public split on the law, with 49 percent in favor vs. 40 percent against in September and the rest undecided. Public sentiment about health reform has shifted within a narrow band since the spring, with slightly more in favor in some months and slightly more against in others.

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Categories: healthcare reform
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