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US: Health Care (Marist 8/3-6)


Marist
8/3-6/09; 854 registered voters, 3.5% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Marist release)

National

Obama Job Approval
Health Care: 43% Approve, 45% Disapprove (chart)

Do you think the current health care system in this country needs major changes, minor changes, or no changes at all?
67% Major Changes, 28% Minor Changes

If health care reform is passed by Congress, do you expect health care in this country to get better, to get worse, or remain the same as it is now?
38% Get better, 38% Get worse, 17% Remain the same

If health care reform is passed by Congress, do you expect health care for you and your family to get better, to get worse, or remain the same as it is now?
27% Get better, 34% Get worse, 35% Remain the same

(Update: Marist also tested opinions of Michael Vick's return to football. Those results are available here)

 

Comments
Stephen_W:

Shows just how complex this issue is to many Americans. Most people understand that major changes are needed to reform healthcare, but most don't know what should be done. And more people think reform won't benefit them in particular, which makes the case especially hard for Obama. In the end, the Healthcare debate is not helping Obama, but it feels like it's also not helping the Republican opposition much either.

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ThatMarvelousApe:

This poll, like others, indicates that most people just don't think health care reform will be effective. I think this has to do with the Democrats' overemphasis on achieving universal coverage. While I think universal coverage is important as well, very few people are aware that the most substantial aspect of reform will be new regulations.

With that said, I wonder how these numbers might change if the question were changed to something like: "Do you think health coverage will improve if health care reform is passed by Congress?" As many people have pointed out, health care in America is stellar. Reform is about ensuring that people have reliable access to it.

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ThatMarvelousApe:

Correction:

"Most persuadable swing voters don't think health care reform will be effective."

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Stillow:

Polls show most think their quality of care will go down if reform is passed. Politics aside, those who have good coverage they like now which is a majoirty want to know how their care will not go down after adding 50 million more people to the system. We aren't adding more doctors or hospitals. You are increasing demand while keeping supply the same. That can only lead to waiting lists, etc. You will have 50 million more people competing for the attention and services of the same number of doctors and hospitals.

And I have seen no real plan to pay for more doctors or hospitals. Every poll I have seen show people individually thinking there quality of care will go down.

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Stephen_W:

A very good point you make Stillow. But the point is, as long as you're on the other side of the fence, of course you don't want it to change. I have steady employment and a great health insurance plan, so why would I want anyone to tinker with that. But God help me if something happens and I lose my job and that plan and become unemployed for an extended period of time.

The reality is we've created a system that is great if you are in it, and downright horrific if you're not. But for those in it to just say, well, screw the 50 million who can't get in because you're gonna make my healthcare worse isn't a solution either. Which is why we need an honest debate, not yelling and screaming.

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Stephen_W:

And on your point of "You are increasing demand while keeping supply the same." is exactly the problem with how our private-based system works. The free-market strives by working as efficiently as possible, which means companies are most profitable by insuring the people with the least amount of risk, and not insuring those with the most. But is it beneficial for a society if the people who need healthcare the most are the first people eliminated from the eligible pool? We already ration healthcare in the country now, you just may not feel it unless you're the one being rationed out.

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Stillow:

I understand all the points on your side. Reform is definately needed, but many of just feel the answer does not ly with g'ment. Insurance companies now only earn about a 3 percent profit, that is not that much. I am in full support as are many on my side of doing away with pre existing conditions, etc. If a large majoirty of americans feel there private coverage is good and they receive good treatment with it, then the solution should be to find ways to expand that private coverage to all, the solution should not be to hand it over to g'ment.

I would favor vouchers for the uninsured...or would favor some kind of g'ment reimbursemnt to hte insurance company for offering coverage to the uninsured. Soemthing liek that which keeps the system in private hands, not public. I simply, along with a lot of folks, cannot and will not support a g'ment run health plan for all.

Polls show people like there current coverage by large margins, we should work to expand that to everyone, it simply makes no sense to me to scrap that system and turn this over to the g'ment. I know you guys say the public option is there to compete, but long term a private company cannot compete with a g'ment run option.

Health care is a very complex and personal thing in our lives and I am just not willing to allow g'ment to manage that for me. I don't think they have the competence to do so. I am in favor of g'ment giving aid to private carriers to cover the uninsured or some kind of voucher program to get the uninsured insured. I would even support my taxes going up if they would go that direction.

I want reform....the answer should remain in the private sector with some kind of g'ment assistance.

If the g'ment would do something like a voucher program, it would lead to a flood of new customers on the insurance rolls, this woudl encourage the various carriers to compete for those new customers and prices would come down.

My side has serious issues with the ability of g'ment to run the post office, let alone our health care.

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jamesia:

I think the poll just shows that the majority of Americans want something very different, but believe Congress will screw it up by watering down what should be a great change.

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Mark:

Stillow: You might be interested in this analysis about "the ability of g'ment to run...our health care."

http://www.cahi.org/cahi_contents/resources/pdf/CAHIMedicareTechnicalPaper.pdf

Personally, I think the "government can't do anything right" meme is an unfortunate side effect of 30 years of repetition by politicians and business people who stand to lose plenty when the government makes services available cheaper than private industry can. In fact, they've made this exact argument against the Democrats' current health care proposals.

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brown cat:

I'm not sure that the results of this poll are as complicated or as cynical as some of you are implying. 67% of people think that our system needs major changes. About the same amount (62%) think that the reforms being considered in Congress will either have no effect or a positive effect on their personal situations. That means that there's an overlapping group of people who support reform but don't expect that it will have much of an effect on their own health care. I would definitely fall into that category. I have decent health insurance right now, and I'm relatively healthy, and I wouldn't join a government plan if one suddenly became available. But I understand that the millions of uninsured in this country are a serious problem, and I've tangled with other health insurance companies in the past, and I know how dysfunctional the system can be. In other words, saying that I don't expect to see a change in my own life doesn't necessarily mean that I'm cynical about the government's ability to implement effective reforms. It just means that I'm not one of the ones who needs reform right now, although I support it for the sake of those who do, and in case I might need it myself one day.

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ThatMarvelousApe:

Polls show most think their quality of care will go down if reform is passed.

38% = most?

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