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As Obamacare gets ready to kick in, polls show public still confused on details

WASHINGTON D.C. (WTVB) - While Congress battles over the Affordable Care Act and tomorrow’s likely government shutdown, most Americans have no clue that the online health marketplaces are set to open tomorrow, or what they are for. According to a Kaiser Family poll, only 15% are aware of that fact, and more than half of those surveyed wrongly believe the law creates a new, government-run insurance policy.

A survey conducted by the Commonwealth Fund found that the minority that knows about the marketplaces plan to take advantage of them. The market places pit existing insurance firms against each other in a way that allows consumers to easily compare one policy with another. Because Michigan has 13 insurance firms competing, more than any other state, the discounts here will well below the national average. Similar on-line markets have helped reduce air-fares and travel costs.