Health reform leaves Americans split, confused
NEW YORK |
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The overhaul of the healthcare system is being hailed in political circles as the biggest health policy change in four decades, but President Barack Obama's landmark reform has left some Americans divided and confused.
"I don't know about it," Kathy Ivcich, 53-year-old Chicago real estate agent, while showing clients a home in Chicago.
"That's why I have to watch the news tonight to get the low-down, because I have no idea whether, or how, it will affect me, as an independent contractor," she said.
While the passage of the healthcare legislation through Congress was front page news on Monday, in midtown Manhattan several people shrugged their shoulders when asked to comment, saying they didn't know enough about it.
However, Patrick Gill, 48, who lives in Manhattan and works for New York City Off Track Betting, said he watched the debate and vote on Sunday by the U.S. House of Representatives and said he was pleased by the outcome.
"I'm not sure anybody's read the whole (legislation)," he said. "Personally, I have company coverage, so I'm not sure it's going to have a direct impact on me.
"But there are a lot of people in a lot of bad places in their lives as a result of not having sufficient coverage and for them I am happy with this result," he said.
John Mendell, 62, a retired banking regulator in Naples, Florida, said that while he believe there were problems with the healthcare system that needed to be fixed, the overhaul worried him.
"The cuts in Medicare concern me and also the ultimate price we will have to pay for it is, I believe, much more than the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) would indicate," he said. "But hopefully in 2012, the Republicans will take over the presidency and they'll repeal the repugnant bits of this law."
Melliza Taipe, who lives in the New York City borough of Queens and owns a small home furnishings business, said she supported the bill but was unsure how it would affect her business.
"I think (Obama) made the right choice, but I guess I need more information," she said.
Doug Hill, a 32-year-old paralegal, from Los Angeles, was not a fan of the overhaul. "It doesn't solve the bottom line which is that insurance costs too much and too many people can't afford it."
Steve Cretella, 25, an Apple store employee in Naples, Florida, said he could not understand why everyone in the United States didn't support the healthcare overhaul.
"I think as a superpower we should carry the responsibility of looking after our own," he said.
George Fleming, a career transition coach in Phoenix, was thrilled that the bill got through the house.
"By anybody's measure we desperately needed something in place. Is it perfect? No," he said. "Bottom line is, I'm delighted we've got step one in place. What I think we're going to see in the next couple of months is ideas to refine it."
Joe Kohler, a 32-year-old Los Angeles student, said: "I don't know anything about it. I basically just heard that it passed but I don't know what it does."
(Additional reporting by Edith Honan in New York, Tim Gaynor in Phoenix, Andrew Stern in Chicago, Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles and Kristine Cooke in Naples,
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