By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
September 30, 2013
A new poll finds many New Jersey residents are not very informed about the specifics of Obamacare.
About 45 percent of Garden State residents are not aware that the Affordable Care Act requires almost all Americans to have health insurance by next year or pay a penalty on their tax returns.
That finding surprises David Knowlton, the President of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute.
“There was so much debate about this being a mandate, there’s an individual mandate you have to have insurance, that it surprised me that people didn’t realize what’s the teeth behind the mandate, and of course the teeth behind the mandate is the fine.”
Only a third of Garden State residents say they’ve heard much about the new health insurance exchanges where people can shop for coverage.
Knowlton expects more people will start paying attention to it.
“Certainly it’s been all over the news, but I think until you start to say now what does this mean for me, do you drill down and start to look at what the implications are. The interesting thing though is more than half are saying if they have to buy insurance, they’ve looked at the exchange, and they’re more familiar with the exchanges than anybody else.”
42 percent of those surveyed predict their heath care costs will get worse under Obamacare, while 37 percent expect those costs will stay the same.