Healthcare Perceptions

This just appeared in my gmail box:
"Most Americans (73%) believe the U.S. healthcare system has big problems and 54% think the government should ensure universal access. But at the same time, 83% rate the quality of medical care they personally receive as excellent or good and 67% say the same about their coverage."
It is the synopsis of some recent polling from Gallop on health care. You can read the details fo the polling here. Suffice it to say that Americans are at best confused and at worst just plain stupid. In fact, it seems that the average American is really just a lemming. Someone (read: the media, politicians, etc) has suggested that health care in this country is broken and must be rescued by a massive government take over a la Hillary Clinton circa 1993. This despite the fact that these same lemming-Americans admit that their health care is, in fact, quite good and their coverage is equally as satisfactory.

What is going on here? Why are we so willing to be led around by others and accept someone else's interpretation of events instead of thinking for ourselves.

I am so depressed!


Annie said…
Take heart. I think the answer lies in how the questions were framed. Most people know that the healthcare SYSTEM is broken. People can't access the right care at the right time in the right setting at an affordable price. So that accounts for their overwhelming response that "healthcare" needs to be overhauled, when it's the large system in question.

But when they actually receive care from a physician or nurse, they are generally satisfied with the quality of that received care meaning that it addressed the presented health problem adequately. That is congruent with public perceptions of the adequacy and professionalism of physicians and nurses generally.

And the study didn't mention who was surveyed. Did it include people who have no insurance and so did not seek any care at all? Did it include the underinsured who have to pay an enormous percentage of the charges? Or was it overly representative of people with insurance who have low co-pays and out of pocket expenses?

There is a lot here that the study didn't address and which would influence the responses.

I think the public is not as "ignorant" as the study would lead one to believe....