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Americans Believe in Death Panels?

August 17, 2010

USA Today reported late last week that according to three recent polls, Americans continue to have dramatic misunderstandings about the health care reform law passed earlier this year.

According to the article, many Americans are unclear on what the law means for them and still believe that it will cut Medicare or ration health care, neither of which is true.  Nearly half of those surveyed even persist in believing the myth that “death panels” will make end-of-life decisions for people.

“The level of ignorance and misinformation is sort of astounding,” says Humphrey Taylor, chairman of the Harris Poll. “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.”

As the country moves toward a huge transformation of the health care system that will lower costs, expand coverage options, offer free preventive care services for seniors, help small businesses with tax credits for providing health care, and prevent insurance companies from denying coverage, too many Americans continue to be in the dark about the details.

That’s why AFSCME put together an online Guide to Health Care Reform, to show members what is in the new health care law and when changes will begin. The online program shows how health care reform will help members and their families.

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