The Obama administration’s effort at health-care reform—known as the Affordable Care Act, or ACA—has an image problem. Virtually every poll asking Americans what they think of its provisions demonstrates not only widespread disapproval, but widespread ignorance.
Some pundits attribute our collective misunderstanding to the administration’s inept efforts to publicize the program’s features, some attribute it to GOP mischaracterizations of its features and some say Americans just aren’t paying attention.
One recent poll, however, was categoric in what Americans like about the ACA: the demand that health-care plans clearly communicate their benefits, coverage and exclusions. The popularity of what seems so simple—transparency—underlies the questionable instincts so common among U.S. commercial interests, whether they’re large financial institutions, Big Pharma or insurance underwriters: You can fatten your bottom line by making consumer safety secondary to obscuring the facts about your product.
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