New Gallup Poll Results

The following are key findings from Gallup surveys:

  1. Most Americans do not believe that the U.S. healthcare system is in a state of crisis.
  2. Americans are not convinced that healthcare reform will benefit them personally.
  3. Americans do not believe that healthcare reform would lessen costs — neither for the system as a whole nor for individuals.
  4. The push for healthcare reform is occurring in an environment characterized by high levels of concern about fiscal responsibility, government spending, and the growing federal deficit.
  5. Americans have relatively little confidence in Congress and thus, by inference, little confidence that Congress can effectively and efficiently reform the country's massive healthcare system.

Comments (20)

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  1. Larry C. says:

    Obama is holding all the cards but he is losing the grass roots battle.

  2. Ken says:

    This is the best news I have seen in quite some time.

  3. Bart Ingles says:

    I would have trouble participating in a poll where questions take the phrase “healthcare reform” to mean “Democratic proposals to take most health care spending away from the private sector.” How do you answer when the choices are “support the Democratic bill” or “oppose all reform”?

    (At which point the pollster usually says, “that’s OK, I’ll just put you down as ‘don’t know’.”)

  4. Devon Herrick says:

    Going back nearly five decades, when Americans are polled about national health insurance, many are prone to express idealistic (i.e. utopian) preferences, which they assume enlightened citizens should hold. In other words, they state a preference that is only valid when the cost of their preference is zero. However, when the cost of their stated preferences becomes clear (e.g. loss of their employer plan, limited choices, higher taxes, lower access to care) people back peddle and then reveal their true preferences. These revealed preferences can often be summed up as akin to “I support socialized medicine so long as I’m not forced to use it or required to pay for it.”

  5. Brian says:

    Just prooves what I said months ago, that insurance has nothing to worry about. They have always killed reforms and always will. They use lies and terrorism to acheieve these ends. Unfortunatly it also shows just how weak and ineffective our government is when it comes to defending the lives of American citizens. Unfortunatly it blatantly shows that this is not a government of the people but a government of the wealthy corporations. Employers will not offer ANY health-insurance because it will be too expensive and the private consumer will have to shell out $50,000 and up for coverage, (its already up to 15-20 thousand a year now so $50,000 is a very low estimate). Insurance drives costs up and with no-one to stop them, they have free-reign to do what they want, when they want, and you will have no choice or voice in the matter. Insurance owns our legislature and soon will own the courts as well.

    As I have said before, when we are all back here in another 10-15 years, and the number of uninsured is
    1-2 hundred million, just remember that this is the results that republicans have fought for.

    It may be emotional but it is still the truth none-the-less.

  6. Paul says:

    Kudos to Brian as he is exactly correct. Also the VA is the second largest socialized medicine system in the world. I guess all you conservatives think that socialized medicine for our veterans is a bad thing that must be abolished.

  7. Jessie says:

    Bart is right on target: this poll is pretty biased, as is Gallup’s analysis. David Moore, who worked for Gallup for 13 years, called foul and explained why here:

  8. Stephanie Bond says:

    Oh, Brian. Would you care to take your head out of the sand (or wherever it is you’ve put it), and recognize that the problems & crises of the health care system that you now have are the direct result of government intervention into the health care industry? The idea of advocating MORE government intervention is like fixing a man’s broken arm by … breaking his other arm. That is the essence of socialized medicine and the attempts to deal with its fallout by applying more socialized medicine.

    Why can’t socialized medicine work? Because it divorces cause & effect. “Everyone” being forced by law (which means at the point of a gun) to pay for everyone else’s health care cannot work and serves only to destroy the system, send costs through the roof and ensure that there is less, not more, health care for everyone.

  9. Brian says:

    My head is on my shoulders,thank you very much.
    This talk of costs being caused only by government intervention only shows your own personal set of blinders. The fact that you cannot see that by charging 450% of the actual cost of healthcare, that by spending premiums on non-medical issues, that by taking decades of premiums and dropping customers has led directly to the number of the un-insured, the high cost of care, the fact that rationing ALREADY happens. Until the monopoly of health-insurance is broken- there will be no hope for millions of americans now, and millions more tommorrow, (backed up by history).
    Insurance companies are the ones that have raised premiums- not the government.
    Insurance companies are the ones that dictate care to your doctor- not the government.
    Insurance companies enjoys a legal monopoly over vital healthcare services- not the government.
    Insurance companies that break contracts routinely and without a second thought- not the government
    The only reasonable and realistic conclusion is that insurance compaqnies are responsible for the high cost of healthcare- not the government.

    That is real life experience, not some slanted statistics touted by insurance companies.(Levin group trying to convince me that they aren’t biased when they are owned by insurance. Please, I am so sick of the blatant lies.) I am tired of criminals getting away with criminal activity.
    I am tired of a government that will not protect American citizens.
    I am tired of a government by insurance and for insurance.
    I am tired of insurance dictating what I can and cannot get medically on a unilateral basis.
    I am tired of insurance killing each and every attempt to reform the system so it actually works for Americans.

    YES, insurance is the driving force behind high healthcare costs.
    Government programs, (medicare/medicaid), have proven that they are cheaper in cost, higher in quality, higher in affordability, higher in accessability than private insurance.
    The only thing insurance has proven is that they can do what they want without consequence.That thay can steal your money, break their half of a contract without consequence.

  10. Linda Gorman says:

    Brian, there is no evidence that Medicare or Medicaid are less expensive to operate. In fact, when patients in Medicaid are given budgets to spend for their own care they, like people in other consumer directed plans, save up to 20%.

    Please direct me to the evidence showing that Medicare and Medicaid produce better results. I’m keenly interested as I have seen a number of academic studies showing the opposite.

  11. Brian says:

    I have been talking about the over-charging of the patient.
    I am intelligent to know that the ACTUAL cost of buisness would roughly be about the same in either private or federal insurance groups. Private has less admin costs because the government is always bad about admin. Federal has a little edge on the manufacteure side because of their buying power. All in all I feel adequate in calling the ACTUAL cost of buisness about equal.
    What I am argueing about, the need for reform, is the cost to consumers. The fact that on medicare an article against federal government lists the per person cost. That cost is:
    “What does Medicare healthcare insurance coverage cost a 65 year old husband and wife? Basic Medicare cost is $93.50 per month per person or $187 per couple per month and $2,244 per year. This insurance covers 80% of Medicare’s allowable fee.”

    “Medicare has recently imposed an added assessment to the basic Medicare premium. It is called the Modified Adjusted Income Calculation. The IRS supplies Medicare with a senior’s previous year income tax returns. Capital gains, dividends, tax free dividends, and salaries are including in the Modified Adjusted Income calculation.

    A married couple with a joint return and income from all sources are going to have an additional assessment of between $51.60 and $284 dollars per person per month depending on their Modified Adjusted Income calculation assessment. The assessment starts at $160,000 and ends at $410,000 per year. The husband and wife pay the assessment of between $25.80 and $142 per month or $619.12 to $3408 per year.

    A widow with dividends, capital gains, an annuity and rental income of $164,000 per year is assessed and additional $103.30 per month or $1239.60 per year.”

    “If you add Medicare Part D for prescription drug coverage, it adds another $24 per person or $34.28 dollars in after tax dollars per month per person or $822 dollars per couple per year. This cost does not consider the extra cost of the infamous doughnut hole.”

    (Now it very well can be pointed out that very few seniors have this type of yearly income and we can find that info out on the census)- my statement.

    This can be found at:

    So added up the cost to the consumer each year is 3,066.00 for excellent coverage and medications.

    Judge that aginst 2008 premiums including medications, (stipulated for arguements sake), which is 12,680 anually

    Can be found at:

    Now the cost to consumer is higher thus increasing the downward pressure economically. The higher this private insurance goes, the higher the downward pressure. The result is more un-insured and less coverage for more money. Historically, I have every reason to belkieve that the insurance industry will not change their buisness model, without requirement to change buisness models. That means breaking the monopoly. That means forcing coverage either the insurance groups start acting in a responsible manner towards consumers or the goverment fulfills its obligation to protect its citizens from this. I an d millions hope for good healthcare not relegated to emergency runs. There is certainly fruad in the system which adds to cost whether private or federal. That is certainly another area to reform. But healthcare is desperatly needed. Healthcare that is efficient, available, affordable, and above all secure! Safe from the present “break your contract” insurance scheme that drains the life out of Americans.
    This isn’t an arguement about what healthcare costs to produce…. it is about what healthcare costs to the public. By what rules is the game to be played. I know that either the govermnment or an Insurance geek is going to tell my doctor what they can or can’t do. That’s life no matter who wins. I would just rather that someone who is interested in my becoming healthy and productive rather than someone who is looking to steal my money and get out of their half of the bargain at the earliest opportunity. That is also historically the standard operation of private insurance and again without the “must”, they will never change. Quite simply everything you are saying will happen under government is ALREADY happening now! And it is only going to get worse if nothing is done!
    Rep[ublicans talk about reform but their actions show that they do not care about reform. (See the state of the union arguement above). Historically the ones to push any healthcare reform are the democrats. They may have much wrong but at least they try. Republicans won’t lift a finger. I know both sides take lobby money, duhhh it is government, but who is standing in the way then and now? Republicans and conservatives and insurance. ALWAYS!

    I guess that’s the difference I talk cost and you assume buisness and profit while I think bottom line, feed the family. 2 different ideas and which is truly more important? Without wealth this economy doesn’t run. Without the consumer this economy doesn’t run. If the insurance monopoly were to be broken up, most of the policies would nessessarily change. There would be competition but the fact remains, there is a monopoly of vital human service. It isn’t really a choiuce to either buy insurance at inflated rates or jumpinto a life of pverty…. may as weel pull the trigger on the gun that insurance DOES hold to the heads of millions of Americans. Its just sad that people are so blinded to these very facts and that we even have to resort to minimizing the problem, and scaring the crap out of the elderly about things that are happening anyway.

    Does that answer your question enough?

  12. Brian says:

    I also apologize now because I read my post and made “assumptions” of my own. Let me state for the record that I have found you a more civil opponant and that I realize oyu have not attacked my position by tried to draw me out. I appreciate that. Just for the record.

    Brian Harvill

  13. Jo says:

    There are parts of the medical cost/insurance debaucle that need fixing but I’m not in favor of anything this Socialist who hates America proposes. He is blatantly taking over every system in the country in order to spread the wealth and protect the sacred cows of the Democratic party, Unions, lawyers (where is tort reform?), minorities, illegal Aliens and the so-called poor (many of whom are so by choice–it’s someone else’s responsibility to pay my bills and feed me).

  14. Isaac says:

    1) Employers only really began to provide health insurance based on tax policies which caused them to look for havens. If tax policies had not affected incomes, insurance would be more reasonable as it would only be used for catastrophic effects and individuals would “shop” around for less essential treatments. Income taxes are a scourge on an economy because they assume the government owns your money. Don’t talk to me about individual liberties if you support an income tax.

    2) Medicare and Medicaid have some of the highest rates of fraud and waste of any industry.

    3) The VA system: “Also the VA is the second largest socialized medicine system in the world. I guess all you conservatives think that socialized medicine for our veterans is a bad thing that must be abolished.”

    Ask Veterans how good the VA system is. 80 percent of them will tell you it’s a nightmare.

    4) Health care is not a fundamental right, nor is anyone dying in the street. If government would finally conduct tort reform and enforce the rule of law, costs would decrease. Fundamental rights are only those that are self-evident. It is not self-evident that individuals deserve free pain killers, wart freezing, and 90% of health care services which are non-essential. The other portion of health care which is life-threatening has almost always been offered pro-bono from Shriner’s and religious and heavily charity-funded Hospitals. I guess closing all those hospitals up north because they refused to perform abortions wasn’t such a good idea.

    5) In every place worldwide that socialized medicine has been attempted, it has led to rationing, queues, and poor quality of care. Brian, I hope you’re not getting any of your information from “Sicko.” That removes any credibility you could possibly have.

    Do you really believe that the government has ever done anything more efficiently than with a system of free association and liberty? I really can’t find an example of that…

    6) If you’re worried so much about “the government caring about people,” you should fight to abolish the Federal Reserve which inflates the currency and makes it immensely more difficult every year to purchase essential goods (food, clothes, etc). Their prices rise faster than other prices and outpace the distorted estimates of inflation while wages remain the same. A history of inflation shows that the percentage of income spent on essential goods has increased dramatically over the past 50 year. Increased tax burdens on the rich always trickle down into less business expansion and innovation, and fewer jobs. Fact.

  15. Brian says:

    Linda I have that information about MRI’s
    found at :

    For the sake of arguement, I will quote the lowest shown charge for MRI service at $1694.00
    I will also estimate the actual cost in manufacture at 1 million,(it does say that it costs a “little” more than that but obviously not a large amount or the numbers would have been shown).

    Take the fact that the cahrge of 1694.00 and multiply that by the annual visits of 26 million annually and the totalis approxamatly 44,044,000,000.00 (just over 44 BILLION subtract the 1 million cost and that ONE machine has earned the company a profit of 44,043,000,000.00). Now lets talk soaking the consumer. There is absolutly no way to defend this over-charging consumers. A yearly profit of over 44 billion!!!!
    Granted we can deduct payroll and admin fees, repair and such, but still the amount of remaining profit is staggering. I also understand that not all of the 26 million users will be able to pay the full amount, or medicare will pay 80% ofa case and the remaining 20% never getas paid…. there are many variables that pull down the 44 billion profit margin but not in any meaningful, harmful, buisness threatened through cost, way. FACT. Insurance is soaking you and there is nothing you can do to stop it. This is just one example. What about applying the same rules and mathematics to other systems, (x-ray, oxygen delivery, vital monitoring equipement,etc.) When taken altogether there can onlyt be one conclusion— Insurance is a theiving organization of criminals. That until they are stopped or force is applied, they will not stop or change their buisness model of legal theft. This is a perfect example that you all can see with your own eyes. You do the math for yourselves if you don’t believe mine. This is what you are fighting for and what I am fighting against. The profit over lives attitude of insurance is definitly not health now nor in the long run. The profit over lives attitude does in deed drive the costs of healthcare and drives it through the roof. Might as well put the wolf inside the chicken coop and expect him not to hurt or eat the chickens.

  16. Brian says:

    Issac- I tend not to quote from the extreme either conservative or liberal. You cannot count on anything either extremes say as being in anyway realistic and it all boils down to propoganda. That goes for the weekly Standard, Micheal Moore, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, MSNBC (the entire network), FOXNEWS (again the entire network).
    My experiences have shown me the reality of life without insurance. And just a few clicks on the internet. I have posted links to where I get facts.
    Meanwhile I am called names, made out as ignorant or insignificant, over-emotional, it goes on and on. Not surprising seeing as that is the p[rimary goto method of conservatives– character assasination and minimization. I have been called as communist when I have served in the military to protect YOU and YOURS. I am entitled to the respect due every person. I have treated everyone else with respect, I may not agree and I may even be condescending in my disagreement because I can spot the lies from a mile away!. I have lived it and livbing it always teaches you the reality better than an opinion form some stuffy insurance geek. Better than any stats provided by dishonest “non-partisan” groups that when the eye is applied they turn out to be nothing but a branch of insurance themselves (Lewin Group comes to mind). The dishonesty that has been used VERY effectivly, and unfortunatly very effectively, is based upon 3 things
    1) lying about the status quo.
    2) Minimizing the problem by reducing the number of un-insured and also by claiming, falsly, that left alone the free market will take care of the problem— all evidence to the contrary.
    3) Scaring the crap out of people by using exceptions and horror stories and potraying them as the norm operation of buisness.

    I have relatives in both England and Canada. I have experienced Canada’s system for myself. Experience IS the best teacher. So all the supposition about taxes, all the fear-mongering about “socialized medicine”, all of it is a slap in the face to rational and thinking individuals. It is an insult.

    The truth is that insurance enjoys a monopoly in healthcare, they ARE protected against anti-trust laws.
    The truth is that the profits enjoyed by insurance are by far extreme and proove the predatory nature of insurance.
    The truth is that the actual delivery of healthcare to consumers would not change in scope of rationing (already in existance), long lines (already in existance), some deaths while waiting for organ replacement (already happens), discrimination against the elderly (already happens). In fact every scare that conservatives and insurance has run on TV can be shown as existing right now! The attempt to portray this as a choice between freedom (where there isn’t any freedom at all), and rationing (which already happens regularly), has unfortunatly worked. The scaring about small buisness not giving benefits (already happening), small buisness going bankrupt because of healthcare costs (already happpening). The only thing I have not seen is how conservatives tackle the problem of the driving into poverty of families, the complete in-security of the present system. Health-insurance is to be there when you get sick that is after all the very purpose of healthcare insurance. BUT the reality is that healthinsurance companies are looking for the earliest convenience to drop coverage. If that means while you are on the operating table, (after insurance already approved your surgery), then so be it— its all for capatalism right? WRONG Capatalism is about free-markets and competirtion not about monopolies and unilateral decisions made by corporations that dictate to private consumers rather than attempt to compete for buisness. The “my way- highway” routine of insurance is ANTI- Capatalism.
    I don’t need a movie when all you have to do is walk into any hospital USA and look around!

  17. Bart Ingles says:

    Take the fact that the cahrge of 1694.00 and multiply that by the annual visits of 26 million annually and the totalis approxamatly 44,044,000,000.00 (just over 44 BILLION subtract the 1 million cost and that ONE machine has earned the company a profit of 44,043,000,000.00)

    Twenty six million visits in one year on one MRI machine? That’s about one visit per second. Every MRI I ever had took about 45 minutes to complete. Assuming it’s idle about half the time (it would be hard to schedule walk-in appointments at night), that’s less than 6,000 visits per year per machine, not 26,000,000.

  18. Brian says:

    you are correct I did forget one step in the math. I forgot to find out the average number of MRI’s in operation. I’m looking for that and will re-figure the math but bet you one thing, it will still be an astronomical figure.
    Fair enough?

  19. Bart Ingles says:

    Brian– fair enough, but keep in mind my figures above imply $10 million annual gross revenue per machine as an upper bound. From that don’t forget to deduct operating costs such as liquid helium, and I’m sure the electric bill is impressive. That’s before related costs such as operator salary, facility to house the equipment, maintenance, insurance, etc.

  20. Greg says:

    Brian, I don’t think you understand the role of the health insurers under a public plan. They will administer it. Are you aware that Medicare is administered by Blue Cross almost everywhere. If we had a single payer system it would almost certainly be run by the large insurance companies. Who else is going to run it?