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Poll: Public doesn't trust media, insurers on health care reform

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People are hearing most about health care reform from the news media but don't trust it much, according to a new poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Eighty-one percent of respondents said they had heard about health care reform from the media in the past 30 days, but only 8 percent said they trust that information a lot. The only source that scored worse than the media was social networking sites, which only 3 percent report trusting. Health insurance companies also scored poorly, at 15 percent trust, and doctors and nurses swept the field at 44 percent trust.

The poll also found that trust of official sources such as federal and state agencies was highest among the young and declined with age, and was also higher among Democrats than Republicans.

Beyond the information they happen to come across, 36 percent of respondents said they have tried to get more information about the law. Those attempt percentages break down as follows: General Internet search, 55 percent; news media, 23; health insurance company, 8; government website, 7; health care provider, 6; or another government source, 6.

Confusion about the law remains high, the poll found, but as the Oct. 1 opening date of the public health insurance marketplaces approaches, they are becoming slightly better known. In June, only 22 percent said they heard "a lot" or "some" about the marketplace in their state; in August, that increased to 33 percent.

For a closer look at the graphic below, click here.

KFF public trust chart
KFF public trust chart

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