What Does the Public Know About the New Health Care Law?

November 3, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - How much does the public know about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the health care reform legislation?


Not much, according to a survey recently released by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Mathew Greenwald & Associates.  In fact, the 2010 Health Confidence Survey shows a significant lack of public understanding about when key elements of the legislation take effect.  Consider that:

  • A plurality of respondents (38%) don’t know when PPACA takes full effect.
  • Nearly a quarter (23%) think PPACA takes full effect before 2014
  • 21% think PPACA takes full effect in 2014.

As for the reality, EBRI notes that some aspects of PPACA take effect with health benefit plan years that start after Sept. 23, 2010, though the health insurance exchanges and other major insurance-market reforms take effect in 2014, and the excise tax on high-cost (a.k.a. “Cadillac”) health plans takes effect in 2018.

The 2010 HCS also found that among individuals who planned to vote in this November’s mid-term congressional elections, 71% reported that health reform will affect how they vote, compared with 26% who said it would not have an impact. 

The 2010 Health Confidence Survey was conducted two months after the passage of health reform.  The report is online at http://www.ebri.org/pdf/surveys/hcs/2010/ebri-notes-09-2010-hcs-rspm.pdf