Poll: Four years later, many people still ignorant about health care law

Back in the day, a sure cure for high self-esteem by reporters working the crime beat was sitting in during jury selection on a trial that dominated the news.

Invariably, prospective juror after prospective juror would claim ignorance of any details about the case, though they were well reported.

So we know how you feel, health care law reporters, with the release of a new poll today that shows most Americans don’t know much about any deadline for signing up for health care insurance under Obamacare.

The survey, from the Kaiser Family Foundation, finds that only 39 percent of uninsured people 18 to 64 years old know that Monday is the deadline to sign up for individual health insurance this year or risk a penalty.

Coincidentally, that figure is about the same percentage of people who say they support the new law.

In the survey, half of those who didn’t know about the deadline and were subsequently told about it say they probably won’t sign up for insurance. And 40 percent of those surveyed were unaware that they could get financial help paying for it.

Only 66 pecent say they knew the law requires nearly all Americans to have health care insurance or pay a fine for failing to do so — an astounding figure given the media coverage the law has had since it was passed four years ago Sunday.

Kaiser broke out provisions of the law and found many of those surveyed like parts of it. The individual mandate isn’t one of them, however.

Half of those surveyed didn’t know the law eliminates out-of-pocket expenses for preventive services and only 4 in 10 know the law closes the so-called Medicare prescription drug “doughnut hole,” which otherwise requires people on Medicare to pay 100 percent of drug costs.

More than half of those surveyed, though, say they’re tired of hearing about the law and say the country should focus on more important issues.