Will Health Care Law Improve Satisfaction?
While some of the reforms passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama last spring are in effect, many of the most far-reaching will not kick in until 2014, including a Medicaid expansion that is projected to extend coverage to 16 million low-income people.
Other provisions of the law include prohibiting lifetime and annual caps on health care payouts and providing affordable options to people who lose their health insurance when they lose their jobs.
“We may see some improvement in satisfaction earlier, but big differences are not likely to show up until 2015 or 2016,” she says.
But it remains to be seen if lawmakers will fully fund the new law, and if Americans will embrace the health care changes if they do.
A poll conducted by Associated Press six months after the law’s passage found that a large percentage of Americans have only a very vague idea of what is in it.
Three out of 10 people polled said they favored the new law, while four out of 10 said they opposed it.
Schoen tells WebMD she’s confident the reforms will be popular once they are implemented.
“There is already broad support for allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ policies,” she says. “I predict there will also be broad support for removing annual limits on insurance payouts, which people often don’t know they have, and for assistance to help people afford health insurance if they don’t have employer coverage.”