Healthcare Reform: Is the Message Getting Out?

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Is the message of this blog getting out?  The Gallup Poll’s annual survey suggests so, with one exception.  Here are some of Gallup’s key survey responses with my comments.

 

Availability & Affordability

How do you feel about the availability and affordability of healthcare in the nation?

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Conclusion: American dissatisfaction with availability and affordability is quite significant, though perhaps slightly lessening this year.

Comment: This blogsite agrees with these public opinion responses.

 

Total National Healthcare Spending

Are you generally satisfied or dissatisfied with the total cost of healthcare in this country? (Note: I condensed this question slightly.)

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Conclusion: Americans dissatisfaction with total national healthcare spending is quite significant, though perhaps slightly lessening this year.

Comment:  This blogsite agrees with these public opinion responses.

 

Government Responsibility for Healthcare Coverage

Do you think it is the responsibility of the federal government to make sure all Americans have healthcare coverage, or is that not the responsibility of the federal government?

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Conclusion:  Public opinion reflected in this survey question is unstable and currently below 2007 support levels.

Comments:  This blogsite has argued that ideally the federal government should ensure healthcare coverage of all citizens for 2 pragmatic reasons and 3 ethical ones:

  1. Only the federal government has the clout to confront special interests to rein in rigged costs. Only the federal government has sufficient public accountability. Only a national-level comprehensive approach can avoid “squeezing balloons” (schemes that shift costs around instead of actually containing them).
  2. There are models for government involvement – such as a public-private hybrid like “Medicare-for-all” – that fall well within American historical tradition and mainstream public opinion.
  3. Lack of healthcare coverage worsens the death rate.
  4. Lack of healthcare coverage worsens quality of life (and thus probably employability as well).
  5. Lack of healthcare coverage can add bankruptcy insult to illness injury.

The trend in support for “government responsibility” appears to fluctuate in the “political winds.”  As graphed on the Gallup website, support peaked before passage of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in 2007, then dropped in the face of Tea Party attacks on Obamacare, and is now rising again in reaction to the Trump administration’s attempts to repeal Obamacare. By contrast, when Gallup uses the wording “government-run” healthcare financing (next section), responses appear more consistent and less susceptible to politics.

 

Public or Private Healthcare Finance

Which of the following approaches to providing healthcare in the United States would you prefer – a government-run system or a system based mostly on private health insurance? (Note: I condensed this question slightly.)

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Conclusion: Americans are increasingly favoring government-run financing, now neck-and-neck with support for private (commercial) insurance.

Comment: This blogsite agrees with these public opinion responses trending toward government-run financing.

 

Conclusion

Americans increasingly agree that our healthcare system costs too much and leaves too many of us uninsured. Americans also increasingly agree that only the government can fix the system. This blog has put forward ideas on how to do so; I will summarize these in the next post.

 

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Image Credit

By: National Archives of Norway [CC BY 4.0 (https:/creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0) ], Cupfinale Ullevål, Skeid-Lillestrøm, 1955 https:/commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cupfinale_Ullev%C3%A5l,_Skeid-Lillestr%C3%B8m_-_L0064_994Fo30141702020059.jpg

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