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By HOLLY NUNN

Staff writer

A survey released Monday by health advocacy groups shows that the federal Affordable Care Act enjoys a high level of support in Maryland, even as many residents report knowing little about the law sometimes called Obamacare.

According to the poll, paid for by the Horizon Foundation Health Care for All! Coalition, 59 percent of Marylanders support the health care reform law, which mandates that most Americans acquire health insurance and makes some insurance practices illegal, like lifetime limits and denying coverage for a pre-existing condition.

Many voters — 22 percent — are undecided about the law, which reflects a lack of knowledge about what is in it, said Vincent DeMarco, president of the Health Care for All! Coalition.

“This study, and a lot of national studies as well, have shown that the more people know about the Affordable Care Act, the more they like it,” DeMarco said.

The highest levels of support come, unsurprisingly, from Democrats, with 80 percent favoring the law. Three-quarters of college-educated women and 65 percent of college-educated men support the Affordable Care Act, along with 70 percent of people making more than $100,000 annually.

What is troubling, DeMarco said, is that those who stand to benefit the most from the law seem to know the least about it.

Only 19 percent of Marylanders who earn less than $30,000 a year say they know “a lot” about the Affordable Care Act, as do 14 percent of those who make between $30,000 and $50,000.

“But this is also a major opportunity to educate people,” DeMarco said. “A smart education campaign can make a difference.”

The coalition plans to partner with high-level politicians and possibly athletes in radio and TV advertisements to tell Maryland residents how they can benefit from the law.

hnunn@gazette.net