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The three-page form is for use by single adults with no dependents who do not have health insurance and would like help paying for it. A second, 12-page, six-step form has been released for everybody else who needs coverage and wants to see if they're eligible for subsidies. But although the longer form has 12 pages, many of them include multiple graphics, white space and large lettering—and look nothing like insurance forms of old made gray with lines and lines of tiny type.
Getting that form down to a doable size is an important hurdle, one that can't be overstated. That's because the public is still so uninformed and so misinformed about the law. From the latest Kaiser Family Foundation monthly tracking poll.
Four in ten Americans (42%) are unaware that the ACA is still the law of the land, including 12 percent who believe the law has been repealed by Congress, 7 percent who believe it has been overturned by the Supreme Court and 23 percent who say they don’t know enough to say what the status of the law is.
About half the public (49%) says they do not have enough information about the health reform law to understand how it will impact their own family.
The share of the public who says they lack enough information to understand how the ACA will affect their family is higher among two groups the law is likely to benefit most—the uninsured (58% of whom say they lack enough information) and low-income households (56% say so).
The law is still viewed more unfavorably than favorably, 40 percent to 35 percent, with a still incredibly high 24 percent reporting that they have no opinion on the law. A simplified application will surely help, but what the administration also needs to do is a simplified, prolonged, all-out public relations blitz to make sure that the huge portion of uninsured and low-income Americans understand how it will help them, and the rest of America that it won't hurt them.
Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 04:04 PM PDT.