By Peggy McDaniel, BSN, RN. Peggy is an infusion practice manager who occasionally writes for this blog.

I admit that I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with the ongoing discussions around health care reform. It sounds like I’m not the only one. FierceHealthcare.com recently reported that the results of a Harris Poll suggest many Americans remain befuddled about the implications of the Affordable Care Act passed in March:

“Here are some areas [w]here a general cluelessness among those polled prevailed:

  • 82 percent think the bill will result in rationing of healthcare or that it might (it won’t);
  • 79 percent don’t know or aren’t sure if drug companies will pay an annual fee (they will);
  • 73 percent don’t know the law establishes a new tax on the sale of medical devices;
  • 66 percent don’t know or aren’t sure if the legislation will result in insurance exchanges where people can shop for insurance (it will); and
  • 63 percent either aren’t sure or don’t know if the new law will increase the number of people elibible for Medicaid (it will).

The chairman of the Harris Poll is quoted in the article: “It seems people are still reacting to the rhetoric, not the substance of what is in the bill . . .”

By db*Photography/via Flick

Considering the results of this poll, what do you think it would take to get the public up to speed on the facts? Do Americans not care, or is it too overwhelming? As a nurse, I feel I should be more informed about the law. And I’m going to spend some more time studying up on this as it affects us—as health care providers as well as citizens. How do you feel about this and what do you think could be done to clear up the confusion?

(More details about the poll results can be found here.)

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