A poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation that only about 50 percent of uninsured, non-elderly Americans understand the benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the tax credits for people with low and middle incomes. According to the poll, 31 percent of people believed that the law would help them, while 14 percent thought the law would hurt them and 47 thought that it would not affect them.

Currently under the ACA, daughters and sons under 26 years of age can receive insurance through their parents’ coverage, the donut hole for seniors is closing, and certain preventive procedures, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and pap smears, no longer require a co-payment or other direct costs. Under the ACA, private insurance plans beginning on or after August 1, 2012 will also cover an annual well-woman visit and a variety of specific health screenings and counseling, such as for domestic and interpersonal violence, gestational diabetes, cervical cancer (an HPV DNA screening), HIV and STIs, as well as all FDA-approved contraceptives, breastfeeding support, lactation services, and supplies. President Obama signed the final version of the Affordable Care Act in March. The final law will eventually add coverage for 32 million people, increasing access to family planning and preventive care.

Former Republican Senate Majority Leader and Heart Surgeon Bill Frist indicated that he believes that the Affordable Care Act will not be repealed, even if the individual mandate provision, which requires that a person purchase minimum health coverage or face a modest monetary penalty beginning in 2014, is determined to be unconstitutional. He stated, “It’s going to survive…it’s not going to fail.”

Politico 8/29/11, 8/25/11; Kaiser Poll 8/2011; Feminist Daily Newswire 6/30/11