Health Care Reform Survey Proves A Point


A new survey of 1,628 adults by the Kaiser Family Foundation puts the brakes on the notion that the desire for health reform is … well … universal.

Overall, healthcare reform ranks third on Americans’ priority list for the new administration – behind improving the economy and fighting terrorism, but ahead of reducing the budget deficit, improving schools, and dealing with Iraq.
There is general agreement on issues such as providing universal coverage, limiting administrative expenses of insurers, and getting rid of exclusions for pre-existing conditions. But public opinion changes when people learn about the effects of their decisions.

For example, 71% of people favor Obama’s idea to require employers to provide health insurance to their workers, but support drops to only 29% when told that the plan may involve employers laying off workers.
Two thirds of people also thought it was a good idea to require all Americans to have health insurance … until they found out that some people would be forced to purchase insurance that was too expensive or something they didn’t want. Support for that idea suddenly dropped to 19%.
Nearly 2/3 of people would be less likely to support a plan that increased their own costs and less than half of those polled were willing to pay higher insurance premiums or taxes to help cover the uninsured. Instead, 70% of those polled wanted to increase taxes for those earning more than $250,000 per year.

In summary, it seems that most people in the survey want “The best health care someone else can pay for.”

Got a news flash for all those who were surveyed: The concept isn’t flying now and it won’t fly in the future. If you’re expecting to get better medical care at a lower cost, you’re kidding yourselves.

If we aren’t careful about our choices, we might get neither.


  1. Aaron in Florida on

    Can you say “NHS”? Can you say “Denial of care”? Can you say “six month waiting list for non-emergent surgery”? What about “The doctor is seven hours behind, so you’ll be waiting in the ambulance so you don’t hurt our care scores, Mrs. Infraction”?

    Yay socialized medicine!

  2. “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”

    This is many of us, we make 250K gross a year. We have 3 kids all going to college. Since we make too much money our kids do not qualify for any freakin give aways. College cost us an average 32K for each, for a total of 96K a year. Our 250 is now down to 154K. We pay an average malpractice insurance of 47K a year. Our 154K is now down to 107K. Our office rental, utilities, salaries for a nurse, secretary and a nurse tech is approximately 6K a month or 72K a year. Our 107 is now down to 35K.

    This is what we get for all the years we spent studying, training, taking certification exams, etc. Our reward, 35K per year take home. Garbage man takes home 60K to 80K with overtime. We don’t get paid overtime or vacations.

    Universal Health Care where we are all employees of the State.. we get a salary of maybe 150K to 200K. No overhead. We have fix work hours. Don’t have to be forced to prescribe antibiotics we succumbed to for fear of losing business. If patients don’t want to come back, well..too bad. Paid vacations, wow…haven’t had that since training days. As soon as the deal is signed, I’m going shopping.

  3. the garbageman’s kids are probbably going to comunity colleges and i don’t know where you live but garbage men here don’t make half that amount you stated. here’s a question for the pollers…your cellphone or health insurance..don’t how many people I see without insurance with a cellphone with all the bells and whistles. everybody has their priorities I guess.

    • Same here..I have contract with 2 large garbage haulers in the midwest and this is what the drivers are telling me they make. So unless they are BS-ing me, you may be right.

  4. It should be no surprise to anyone that people want the moon, as long as they don’t have to pay. That is just human nature. That doesn’t mean that no improvement in the system is possible!

    How much less would my ER visit cost, if the hospital didn’t have to soak me to make up for the un-insured who cannot pay but must be treated anyway?

    How much more productive could our economy be if our insurance weren’t tied directly to our jobs (for most people)? If nobody went bankrupt from hospital bills?

    How much better would I sleep at night, if I knew that my insurance provider wasn’t looking for an excuse to dump me from my plan as soon as I actually needed it?

  5. Dwight Burdick on

    Well now, I’m not sure I’m with you here. Nor in your earlier post about the VA and their EMR.
    My perspective is a little different, I suppose. I practice in Saudi Arabia, where we have nationalized health care. I travel frequently in Europe where they also generally have nationalized health care.
    Check the books. You might be surprised that these countires typically spend less than half what we do on health care.
    Check the statistics. These countries rate higher on almost every indicator of national health.
    I work with expatriate Doc’s and other staff from such countires. Interestingly, they almost all express satisfaction with their nationalized health care. Most of my colleagues like working as employees and receiving employment benefits. Over the past fifteen years, I hear less and less about extended waits for elective procedures. These systems are maturing, and working.

    Get more? Spend less? Maybe, just maybe, it is possible.

    When I am back in th U.S.A., I take my father-in-law to the VA. He shows up on time for his appointments and is seen on time. The quality of his care is tops, often from clinical staff of the nearby medical school. When he finishes, his Rx’s are waiting, and only a small copay is expected. His EMR is promptly available anywhere in the system. Costs are managed by a relativly efficient management structure, smooth clinical operations, and amazingly low drug costs negotiated directly with the pharmaceutical houses.
    I’m a Vietnam era vet, probalby eligible. Although I don’t need anything from the U.S. right now, I might, if I ever come back. So, I made preliminary inquiries of the VA. I was treated respectfully, my questions were all answered, and an offer was made on the spot to process my eligibility whenever I was ready.
    Like the rest of you, my Inbox is often stuffed with offers of employment, some from the VA system. Reasonable pay, relaxed hours, paid vacation (I’m serious!), insurance, retirement, more. A EMR focused on clinical data rather than billing jutification. Tempting for this ageing “trench warrior” with too many hours down in the “Pit” of the inner city public hospital ED.

    Socialized Medicine? Doesn’t seem to frightening to me. A system like the VA? I could happily live with VA care. I could willingly work for them.

    In fact, maybe that’s just the ticket. A seamless transition to national health care. Expand eligibility at the VA until the system is at capacity. All the while expand infrastructure, and add more eligibility whenever possibile. Somewhere along the line change the name to something reflecting a new mission of affordable medical care for all.

    What the Hell do any of us get from all of the money we send over to the insurance companies, the for-profit hospitals, the phamaceutical industry? How can anyone justify their obscene profits and the outrageous compensation paid to their minions? We hand them our money, they hand us back a little money and some trinkets, and we send them more. What is it in all of this that is anything other than a giant Ponzi scheme?

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