Understanding How Americans View Health Care Reform

Posted on 12 August 2009


Here’s a summary of public opinion polls that I’ve found online. Apparently, neither side seems to be too concerned with painting an accurate picture of the general consensus at this point in the game.

Understanding How Americans View Health Care Reform

Posted by NEJM • August 12th, 2009

Robert J. Blendon, Sc.D., and John M. Benson, M.A.

FREE full-text HTML online at: http://healthcarereform.nejm.org/?p=1424?query=TOC

Full-text PDF at: http://content.nejm.org/cgi/reprint/NEJMp0906392.pdf

Although most Americans are satisfied with their current arrangements, a majority say they are worried (”very” or “somewhat”) about having to pay more for their health care or insurance coverage and are concerned that the quality of care they receive will get worse. Also, a majority of insured Americans say they are worried about losing their coverage (KFF July 7). In addition, nearly half of Americans believe that their federal income taxes are already too high (Gallup April 6).

The public mood today about health care is very similar to what it was at the outset of the 1993 health care reform debate. In 2009, as in 1993, health care is seen as the second-most-important issue for government action, after the economy (Harris May 11).2 More than three fourths of Americans support a major change in the health care system (CBS July 24),2 and more than half favor enactment of a national health insurance program (HSPH June 17).2 The biggest difference is that President Barack Obama has a much higher approval rating than President Bill Clinton did (58% vs. 38%) (CBS July 24 and CBS Aug. 2), which suggests that Obama has more opportunity for leadership.

Health Care Reform 2009 at healthcarereform.nejm.org

Posted by NEJM • July 29th, 2009

Gregory D. Curfman, M.D., Stephen Morrissey, Ph.D., Debra Malina, Ph.D., and Jeffrey M. Drazen, M.D.

Editorial online at: http://healthcarereform.nejm.org/?p=1268?query=TOC

Posted in: Health Care