Sam Cooke may not have known much about history, but 1,251 randomly selected U.S. adults apparently don’t know much about the Patient Protection and Accountable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).  According to a survey conducted by Stanford University and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, most Americans don’t understand what’s in PPACA or how the new law will eventually affect them and their families.  Both supporters and detractors appear to be equally clueless.
What most Americans seem to know about PPACA is 1) its mammoth size, 2) its tremendous cost, and 3) its complexity.  The poll asked 19 true/false questions about the contents of the law.  Two-thirds of those polled admitted they were uncertain about their answers to eight of the nine core provisions of PPACA.
It’s hard to know if you are for or against something until you know something about it, but that hasn’t stopped people from forming very strong opinions on Health Reform.
Today, President Obama and top administration officials marked the six month anniversary of PPACA with an event attended by folks who say they have already benefited from Health Reform.   Holding an event of this kind indicates that the Administration recognizes the public’s need for more information.  For those of us already immersed in the nuances of PPACA, we should remember that a year ago hardly anyone knew what an accountable care organization or a medical home was.  We all have some obligation to explain to our fellow citizens what actually did or did not make it into the final version of the Act.  Maybe then, Sam Cooke’s definition of a wonderful world will come a bit closer to reality.