After reading news reports on the recent Kaiser Family Foundation polling, you might think that the most important finding is that public support for the law is at a plateau, and that a large number of everyday Americans are still unsure how the law will directly benefit them. But, I was pleased as punch to see that 66% of those polled support the recent decision by the Department of Health and Human Services to cover contraceptives without co-payments.
When you look at this support for a particular provision of the law in tandem with uncertainty about the law writ large, a few things become clear. This illustrates a disconnect we see time and time again – people support particular aspects of the law, even as they remain unsure about the total package. But it is important to remember that Americans *do* eventually support many of the individual provisions included in the law. This means that as those provisions begin to go into effect, and people are able to experience the changes and see how the law improves their care, Americans’ opinions on the package should hopefully change for the better. The reality is that until the law, with its many pieces, becomes tangible, it is hard for busy Americans to fully grasp how it will work and how it all fits together.
While many aspects of the law will not be implemented for a few more years, the law is already working and improving the lives of some Americans. You can review our timeline to learn when different provisions will be implemented, and you can also check out our factsheets to learn how the Affordable Care Act will impact you.
It is a long law. It is complicated. And it will work. Now we need to make sure we’re helping educate one another on the parts of the law that will benefit one another. Help us spread the word!