Republicans can finally relax — the health care law has finally been repealed. Actually it hasn’t — but only half of all Americans know it.
In a new Kaiser Health poll, just 52% of Americans knew that the health care reform bill signed into law by President Obama is still in place. Meanwhile, one fifth — 22% — of all Americans believe that the law has been overturned, while another 26% aren’t sure what’s up with the law.Last month, the newly minted Republican House voted to repeal the health care law. Yet that repeal effort was dead on arrival when it reached the Democratic-controlled Senate, and thus the law still stands. Still, it’s likely that Americans misinterpreted that vote as having automatically dismantled the health care law by itself.
The results are a shocking finding given how contentious — and highly publicized — the battle over health care reform has been. Republicans made dismantling the health care overhaul a central plank of their midterm platform. As the 2012 presidential race heats up, health care looks poised to be a central issue in that contest as well.
On an issue that has often been defined more by sound bites than substance — think ‘death panels’ and ‘pull the plug on grandma’ — this shows just how misinformed Americans are on one of the biggest legislative battles currently being fought in Congress.