Misconceptions of the ACA

Date: Nov 02 2015

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Misconceptions of the Affordable Care Act associated with negative opinions of the law

Chicago — People who have poor knowledge of the Affordable Care Act are more likely to have a negative opinion of the law than those who don’t, according to new research released today at the American Public Health Association’s 143rd Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Researchers examined data from the 2013 Douglas County (Nebraska) Community Health Survey, which included four questions about the ACA. Of the nearly 500 responses, 56.7 percent did not answer correctly to more than one question and only 4 percent answered all four questions correctly. Moreover, misconception of the ACA increased the likelihood of negative perception of the law by 73 percent.

“The findings are timely in consideration of the approaching presidential election and ongoing debate of ACA,” said Dejun Su, PhD, lead researcher and associate professor at University of Nebraska Medical Center. “Our study is unique in that it was based on a population-based, random sample survey —whereas most other findings on this topic were based on polls that lacked information or in-depth analysis.”

Women, Hispanics and people with poor self-rated health were more likely to answer the questions incorrectly. Conversely, people who were uninsured or well-educated were more likely to answer the questions correctly.

Overall, 56 percent of the respondents believed that the ACA negatively impacts U.S. health care.

“Increasing public support for the ACA calls for significant educational effort to alter misconceptions of the ACA, especially among females, Hispanics and people with poor health,” Su said.

APHA’s 143rd Annual Meeting is themed “Health in All Policies” and will focus on how public health agencies and organizations can work with those who are best positioned to create policies and practices that promote healthy communities and environments.

Session 3154.0: Impacts of the Affordable Care Act-I

Date: Monday, November 2, 2015

Researchers: Dejun Su, PhD, Department of Health Promotion, Social and Behavioral Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska

Li-Wu Chen, PhD, College of Public Health, Department of Health Services Research and Administration, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska

Rajvi Wani, Department of Health Service Research and Administration, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska

Information for media: The APHA Annual Meeting Press Office will be located in W475B of the McCormick Place convention center.

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