Beyond that, many folks are clueless how the new insurance law affects them
By Charles Hallman
An April Kaiser Family Foundation survey found many Americans are either unsure or still confused about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). At least half of respondents say they don’t have enough information about the federal healthcare law, “ObamaCare,” passed in 2010, to understand what it will do for them and/or their families.
The MSR recently visited one of the community’s traditional places where people talk — the barber shop — to get first-person opinions on the ACA. We asked two questions; the first was, “Do you know what the ACA is all about?”
A professional football player said he didn’t want to know anything about the ACA.
“I know it has something to do with Obama,” said a male patron who was in a hurry. “Obviously you know more about it than I do.”
“To be honest, I’m not even familiar with the Affordable Care Act,” admitted Nick Hooks, 31, of St. Paul, who says he has health coverage. “I’m not seeing it affect me, but at the end of the day, I’m pretty sure it will affect me in some way.”
“I think it’s saying that people who don’t have health care can get health care,” said barber Cameron Cook, 36. “I don’t know the specifics of it.”
“Some people know and some people don’t,” said Kevin Hill, 49, of Bloomington. Everybody needs to know.”
“Right now I pay $380 a month for three people to have medical [coverage]. If that is going to benefit me and save money, I’d love to know more about it,” said Alicia Rose, a mother of two from Bloomington. When she heard about the Kaiser Poll results, she said they “aren’t surprising. I don’t think people have really educated us about it or don’t care about it much.”
“Is that the health insurance everyone was mad about?” asked Sean Cook, 33, from Northeast Minneapolis.
Laron Tivis, 37, of St. Paul, knew something about the insurance program: “You have to have insurance, and if you don’t have insurance, they will penalize you through your taxes. But what about the people who can’t afford health insurance?”
Our second question was, “What would you like to know about the ACA?”
“Breaking it down so everyone will know what’s actually happening,” said Hooks.
“I like to know my options,” said barber Chris Oliver, 34, of Minneapolis. “What am I going to be required to do in order to get it, and how much it will cost.”
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