Americans Think Their Health Care Is Fine, But “American” Health Care Is Not

doctor-mom-and-sonNational Public Radio, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Harvard University’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health have released findings of a February survey, Patients’ Perspectives on Health Care in the United States:

Even though most (55%) Americans reflect positively on their state’s health care system, saying it is excellent or good, few give their state top marks. Just one in six (17%) say the health care system in their state is excellent, while more than two in five (42%) adults in the U.S. say it is fair or poor.

Americans are much more negative about the nation’s health care system than they are about the health care system in the state where they live. Only 38 percent of adults in the U.S. had positive things to say about the country’s health care system, and fewer than one in ten (9%) gave it top marks. In contrast, more than three in five (61%) U.S. adults say the nation’s health care system is fair or poor.

Almost half the people who believe their own state’s health care is excellent deny that it is excellent elsewhere!

Now, this survey only covered seven states. So, maybe the respondents believe health care in the other 43 states is lacking. However, there is a more likely explanation: People are largely satisfied with the health care they or their friends and family experience, but form their opinions about “American health care” from national media, politicians, and activist groups which agitate for their own issues.

This is one reason why American health care should not be put under even more control by national politicians: Citizens are poorly informed about what actions should be taken nationally, and incapable of giving coherent signals to politicians. It is likely that politicians will over react, because people think things are worse than they really are.

Comments (7)

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  1. Ron Greiner says:

    What Americans think is usually wrong because of the poor information that they are spoon fed. You could have asked these people if Americans had to pay an IRS penalty if they didn’t have health insurance and over 90% would have responded, YES, even though a majority of people are not subject to the IRS penalty. The media is pushing this LIE to get people to sign up for Obamacare. If the media was licensed we would call this LIE – Deceptive Sales Practices. (or fraud, or scam)

    2 days ago here at this blog an insurance agent with 30 years experience, and ongoing State Continuing Education to keep his license, was informed that most people don’t have to pay the penalty because of their low income. This agent was the Past President of the Houston Life Underwriters Association and the NCPA Blog taught him about Obamacare law, pathetic.

    Polling Americans might be interesting but Americans are lost in space and polling them is just entertainment that means nothing because of the in-your-face brainwashing by the corporate media and the government.

    If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. The truth is many States only offer HMOs on the Obamacare “MARKETPLACE.” MARKETPLACE – just the name is a lie and pure propaganda. Iowa had ONE insurance company selling an HMO on their so-called MARKETPLACE last year – some “marketplace.”

    The people who did the poll are Socialists, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

    • PJohnson says:

      There is a penalty. It’s just rarely being collected. And you pretty much have to out yourself as the IRS really has no good way of knowing in spite of the 1095 forms.

  2. Devon Herrick says:

    The results of this survey strikes me as similar to how Americans feel about their politicians!

  3. Beverly Gossage says:

    “This is one reason why American health care should not be put under even more control by national politicians.” Exactly!

  4. John Fembup says:

    “Almost half the people who believe their own state’s health care is excellent deny that it is excellent elsewhere!”

    I’ve kept a file on polls such as this since the late 1970s. It’s striking how similar the findings have been over the years.

    Forvexampke, the University of Chicago in 1977 reported that “61% of the respondents [thought] there was a crisis in health care” but at the same time “88% of the respondents [were] satisfied with the health care that they themselves received”.

    The Wall Street Journal commented that “it is not surprising that a lot of people think there is a ‘crisis’ when they are being told that constantly by politicians”.

    To that, I would add – and being told that constantly by the media.

    Over the years, it seems little has changed about the quality of the information and leadership the public gets. Yeah, details change. But there is still a huge mismatch between what people experience themselves, and what they believe others experience. It’s sad, because we have squandered more than 40 years obsessing on the wrong problem. We even have a “solution” (Obamacare) for the wrong problem.

    Just think, under Moses’ leadership his people reached the promised land in 40 years. America has been struggling with our medical care system for at least 50 years – and counting, I say our missing element is “leadership”. What little we’ve had, has failed us.

  5. PJohnson says:

    The grass is browner on the other side of the hill.