WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) – The results of a recent Gallup Poll suggest that 43 percent of uninsured people in the United States are not aware of the fact that they must get medical coverage, according to the Affordable Care Act.
The figure contrasts sharply with the amount of already insured citizens who are aware of the requirement – just 14 percent of participants in that group told researchers they had not known about that part of the new law.
“The subgroups that are less likely to be aware of the health insurance requirement are also the subgroups that are least likely to be insured, including Hispanics, blacks, young adults, and those in lower-income households,” a release on the poll’s findings noted.
Similar disparities in knowledge of the Affordable Care Act were observed when participants in the poll were asked to rate their overall knowledge of and familiarity with the legislation.
A reported 15 percent of uninsured participants in the survey said they were not at all familiar with the details of the Affordable Care Act. Most Americans, from the insured to the uninsured, said they were merely “somewhat familiar” with the law.
“There are significant differences in familiarity by income level, with 89 percent of upper-income Americans, 76 percent of middle-income Americans, and 62 percent of lower-income Americans saying they are very or somewhat familiar with the law,” the release stated.
President Barack Obama signed the Act into law in March of 2010. Its constitutionality was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court last June.
Roughly half of those who will gain coverage under the Affordable Care Act, referred to commonly as Obamacare, are expected to go into Medicaid, the federal-state program for the poor and disabled. States can opt to expand Medicaid, and at least 24 and the District of Columbia plan to.
The poll was conducted over the phone earlier this month. According to Gallup, a random group of 2,048 American adults from throughout the nation participated in the study.
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