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Mistaken Beliefs About the New Healthcare Law

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyFebruary 3, 2011 9:05 PM


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Misinformation works. That's the upshot of this new Kaiser study of public beliefs about what is referred to by some as "Obamacare":

* 4 in 10 Americans think the law creates "death panels." It does not. * The same percentage think illegal immigrants are favored with government subsidies under the law. They aren't. * 45 % think the law will cut some benefits to Medicare beneficiaries. It won't. * 6 in 10 think the law creates a government run healthcare plan. It doesn't.

And of course, these are not innocent or random errors. These are politically driven bytes of misinformation. They've taken hold--and given how strongly motivated they are, will be exceedingly difficult to dislodge. P.S.: For more on incorrect beliefs about healthcare reform and other matters, and why we cling to them, see my Point of Inquiry episode with Brendan Nyhan.

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