Pollster: Healthcare Reform 'Fiendishly Complicated'

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , July 29, 2010

"The problem for the Obama administration is healthcare reform is fiendishly complicated because the healthcare system is fiendishly complicated, and it is not politically feasible to tear up the system and build it again," says Humphrey Taylor, chairman of the Harris Poll. "Instead you have to build on the system that you have. When you try to build on a fiendishly complicated system, you have fiendishly complicated reforms."

Another cause of the confusion is the long and heated political debate that surrounded the bill before it was passed, Taylor says. "The level of ignorance and misinformation is sort of astounding," he says. "It seems people are still reacting to the rhetoric, not the substance of what is in the bill, because they don’t actually know what is or is not in the actual legislation."

The Harris findings jive with a National Council on Aging poll released Monday which shows that only 17% of 636 seniors surveyed knew the correct answers to more than half the factual questions posed about key aspects of new law, particularly as they relate to Medicare, and only 9% knew the correct answers to at least two-thirds of the questions.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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