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November 13, 2013

The Media and Health Care Reform

Author Affiliations
  • 1Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, California
JAMA. 2013;310(18):1941-1942. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.281852

As implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) moves ahead this fall, Americans remain startlingly uninformed about the landmark law and its prescriptions for the country’s health care system. Fewer than 4 in 10 adults in a recent national survey were familiar with the new insurance marketplaces at the center of the law.1

In any democracy, public misunderstanding on this scale is troubling. Still more disturbing, this misunderstanding has helped paralyze policymaking at a critical point for the nation and its ailing health system. Ideological claims and counterclaims, often based on erroneous information, have displaced informed discussion about the trade-offs and compromises necessary in any major legislative reform.

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