The big day is finally here--the day when the millions of Americans "desperate" to get health insurance can sign up for plans available from the new state exchanges. And the response from a majority of the country is....."Huh? Whut?"
A new survey by the Kaiser Foundation finds the majority of Americans have no idea what is going on with the Affordable Care Act. Two-thirds don't know what is in the law (even though Democrats passed it so everybody could find out) and could not tell you how it is going to affect them. I can see how this very minor new law could have slipped past everyone's attention. I mean there was hardly any media coverage of it in the 2008 Presidential campaign, the 2009 Christmas Eve vote to approve it, the voter backlash against it, the multiple efforts to repeal it in the House, all of the President's rallies and town hall meetings to promote it, the 2012 Presidential campaign, the delay of the business mandate and now the partial Government shutdown over another effort to delay it. Perhaps if Kanye West, one of the Kardashians, Hunter Moore or Miley Cyrus tweeted about ObamaCare, more people would know about it.
What I find most interesting in this survey is that among the uninsured--the people who will be impacted the greatest by the ACA--the level of ignorance is a full 88%. If these people are truly "desperate" to get health insurance, they sure have a funny way of displaying that desperation. I know that if I had been trying for years to secure something as important as health insurance and it had been out of my reach--the minute it might become available to me I would be doing everything I could to make sure I knew how to make that happen. And even if I didn't actually want it, I would still try to find out how to avoid the tax penalty for failure to enroll.
That must be why those in Human Services say they are less concerned about today's start of the exchange sign-up period and are more concerned about the December 15th deadline to enroll in plans for 2014. They know that the vast majority of those 14-million uninsured people that will cost taxpayers a TRILLION dollars over the next decade will actually have to be dragged--some kicking and screaming--over the finish line.