Thursday, July 16, 2009

Polls show majority of Americans support Universal Healthcare

American Thoughts on Health Reform

Cedric K. Dark, MD, MPH

July 8, 2009

Last month’s CBS News/New York Times poll on “The Debate over Health Care” provides useful information on the public’s view about several reform components being considered by Congress this summer.

At Policy Prescriptions, we have advocated for the following options for health reform: universal healthcare, individual mandates, guaranteed issue, community rating, subsidies for the poor, and a public not-for-profit option for health insurance. This recent poll explores the public’s views about these and other options for health reform.

Universal Healthcare

A large majority of Americans (including majorities of Republicans - 54%, Democrats - 64%, and Independents -73%) view the uninsured as a “very serious” problem for the country. Fifty-seven percent of Americans would be willing to pay higher taxes in order to ensure that all Americans had health insurance that they could not lose. Sixty-four percent think that the the federal government should guarantee health insurance for all Americans.

Guaranteed Issue

Overwhelming majorities of Americans across party lines think that the government should require health insurance companies to cover all patients regardless of preexisting medical conditions. Overall seventy-five percent of respondents approve of guaranteed issue (64% among Republicans, 88% among Democrats, and 70% among Independents)

The Public Plan

When asked about who would do a better job providing health care, fifty percent of the public thinks government would do better than the private sector (led predominantly by Democratic respondents). Seventy-two percent of Americans (led by Democrats and Independents) favor a government administered health insurance plan that could compete with private insurers. In contrast to the political rhetoric
, one of every two Republican respondents favors a public plan.

Read more on Universal Healthcare

The RAND Health Insurance Experiment represent the best evidence available to determine the behavior of patients based on cost sharing in health plans. Following the publishing of data from this study, many private insurance companies adopted these cost-sharing strategies. The researchers estimated price elasticities for medical care in the range of -0.1 to -0.2. What is concerning about this data is that all patients - healthy or sick - decrease utilization equally based on financial reasons. While cost sharing can help reduce unnecessary health utilization, it very well reduces necessary care as well. As the Obama Administration and Congress work towards health reform this summer, the lessons from this landmark study should remain in the minds of policy makers.

Read the RAND Health Insurance Experiment here.

1 comment:

  1. .

    This is like one of those exhaustive "studies" that determines, after millions of dollars and thousands of people-hours, that children like candy.

    We'd have to be crazy not to support getting something for our hard-earned and usually wasted tax dollars, ESPECIALLY healthcare.

    The real headline is: "Media & Government Continue To Ignore & Deny Public Will On Healthcare." Is it any wonder that, without headlines like this, no one reads the papers or watches the news any more?

    The Big Lie has become the second job of government and media (after screwing us to enrich and empower themselves, their Job One) but only they believe it any more. I look forward to every single lying media outlet going out of business, and DFH's squatting in their rotting, burned out shells, pounding out the truth for a change.

    The same goes for government: Democrats & Republicans alike had better get real jobs real soon with the corporations they actually represent. Once the dust settles on healthcare, and all the other things we all voted to "CHANGE," everyone will see that the whores have serviced the corps again, and then they'll all be on their way out the one-way exit.

    Tough as all this will be on many of us, myself included, I look forward to it. It's the only way anything will really change: Everyone has to get screwed so bad and so finally that no one will oppose real change again. Watch for it. Better yet, make it happen.