In Poll, Wide Support for Government-Run Health

Discussion in 'Politics' started by insider trading, Jun 21, 2009.


    June 21, 2009
    In Poll, Wide Support for Government-Run Health

    Americans overwhelmingly support substantial changes to the health care system and are strongly behind one of the most contentious proposals Congress is considering, a government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

    The poll found that most Americans would be willing to pay higher taxes so everyone could have health insurance and that they said the government could do a better job of holding down health-care costs than the private sector.

    Yet the survey also revealed considerable unease about the impact of heightened government involvement, on both the economy and the quality of the respondents’ own medical care. While 85 percent of respondents said the health care system needed to be fundamentally changed or completely rebuilt, 77 percent said they were very or somewhat satisfied with the quality of their own care.

    That paradox was skillfully exploited by opponents of the last failed attempt at overhauling the health system, during former President Bill Clinton’s first term. Sixteen years later, it underscores the tricky task facing lawmakers and President Obama as they try to address the health system’s substantial problems without igniting fears that people could lose what they like.

    Across a number of questions, the poll detected substantial support for a greater government role in health care, a position generally identified with the Democratic Party. When asked which party was more likely to improve health care, only 18 percent of respondents said the Republicans, compared with 57 percent who picked the Democrats. Even one of four Republicans said the Democrats would do better.

    The national telephone survey, which was conducted from June 12 to 16, found that 72 percent of those questioned supported a government-administered insurance plan — something like Medicare for those under 65 — that would compete for customers with private insurers. Twenty percent said they were opposed.

    Republicans in Congress have fiercely criticized the proposal as an unneeded expansion of government that might evolve into a system of nationalized health coverage and lead to the rationing of care.

    But in the poll, the proposal received broad bipartisan backing, with half of those who call themselves Republicans saying they would support a public plan, along with nearly three-fourths of independents and almost nine in 10 Democrats.

    The poll, of 895 adults, has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.
  2. nanny-state pussies

    The stealth single-payer agenda

    By George Will

    The puzzle is: Why does the president, who says that were America "starting from scratch" he would favor a "single-payer" — government-run — system, insist that health-care reform include a government insurance plan that competes with private insurers? The simplest answer is that such a plan will lead to a single-payer system.

    Conservatives say that a government program will have the intended consequence of crowding private insurers out of the market, encouraging employers to stop providing coverage and luring employees from private insurance to the cheaper government option.

    The Lewin Group estimates that 70 percent of the 172 million persons privately covered might be drawn, or pushed, to the government plan. A significant portion of the children who have enrolled in the State Children's Health Insurance Program since eligibility requirements were relaxed in February had private insurance.


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    Assurances that the government plan would play by the rules that private insurers play by are implausible. Government is incapable of behaving like market-disciplined private insurers. Competition from the public option must be unfair because government does not need to make a profit and has enormous pricing and negotiating powers. Besides, unless the point of a government plan is to be cheaper, it is pointless: If the public option conforms to the imperatives that regulations and competition impose on private insurers, there is no reason for it.

    The president characteristically denies that he is doing what he is doing — putting the nation on a path to an outcome he considers desirable — just as he denies any intention of running General Motors. Nevertheless, the unifying constant of his domestic policies — their connecting thread — is that they advance the Democrats' dependency agenda. The party of government aims to make Americans more equal by making them equally dependent on government for more and more things.

    Arguments for the public option are too feeble to seem ingenuous. The president says competition from a government plan is necessary to keep private insurers "honest." Presumably, being "honest" means not colluding to set prices, and evidently he thinks that, absent competition from government, there will not be a competitive market for insurance. This ignores two facts:

    There are 1,300 competing providers of health insurance. And JWR columnist Morton Kondracke notes that the 2003 Medicare prescription drug entitlement, relying on competition among private insurers, enjoys 87 percent approval partly because competition has made premiums less expensive than had been projected. The program's estimated cost from 2007 to 2016 has been reduced 43 percent.

    Some advocates of a public option say health coverage is so complex that consumers will be befuddled by choices. But consumers of many complicated products, from auto insurance to computers, have navigated the competition among providers, who have increased quality while lowering prices.

    Although 70 percent of insured Americans rate their health-care arrangements good or excellent, radical reform of health care is supposedly necessary because there are 45.7 million uninsured. That number is, however, a "snapshot" of a nation in which more than 20 million working Americans change jobs every year. Many of them are briefly uninsured between jobs. If all the uninsured were assembled for a group photograph, and six months later the then-uninsured were assembled for another photograph, about half the people in the photos would be different.

    Almost 39 percent of the uninsured are in five states — Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, all of which are entry points for immigrants. About 21 percent — 9.7 million — of the uninsured are not citizens. As many as 14 million are eligible for existing government programs — Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, veterans' benefits, etc. — but have not enrolled. And 9.1 million have household incomes of at least $75,000 and could purchase insurance. Those last two cohorts are more than half of the 45.7 million.

    Insuring the perhaps 20 million persons who are protractedly uninsured because they cannot afford insurance is conceptually simple: Give them money — (refundable) tax credits or debit cards (which have replaced food stamps) loaded with a particular value. This would produce people who are more empowered than dependent. Unfortunately, advocates of a government option consider that a defect. Which is why the simple idea of the dependency agenda cuts like a razor through the complexities of this debate.
  3. "Across a number of questions, the poll detected substantial support for a greater government role in health care, a position generally identified with the Democratic Party. When asked which party was more likely to improve health care, only 18 percent of respondents said the Republicans, compared with 57 percent who picked the Democrats. Even one of four Republicans said the Democrats would do better"


    For 8 years the Republicans were in office and they didn't do a dam thing about heath care.Half of all bankruptcies are due to medical bills,its virtually impossible for the self employed and those with pre existing conditions to get affordable care and The Ins companies raise rates 10-30 % per year for those with coverage and try to find any excuse they can to deny claims and treatments

    Now the Democrats are trying to do something about it, and the Republicans who hasn't done anything about the situation in the past 8 years and with no plan of their own are trying to do everything they can to stop the Democrats health plan :cool:
  4. Universal healthcare is good for smaller countries like Sweden or Norway.

    Unfortunately I don't think it will work in the US. This country is too huge and there will be people taking advantage of the system through any loopholes. Oversight is impossible for 330 million people.
  5. Lucrum


    "In Poll, Wide Support for Government-Run Health"

    Whoa hoo!

    More government intrusion, more fraud, more bureaucracy, more forms to fill out, more lines to wait in, more waste, more incompetent impersonal dumb ass bureaucrats to deal with, less service and last but not least.


    I know I can't wait.

  6. I don't think we need government run health care.I think we need a gov option for health insurance to stop private insurance companies from screwing the public

    I would be in favor of a plan that says an insurance company can not deny treatment for an illness if 2 doctors recommend it,That people cant be denied coverage due to pre existing conditions and that rates aren't raised 10-30 % per year.For those below the poverty level expand Medicaid
  7. Well then it appears you'd vote with me as the "minority" in this poll, eh?

    Sweeping, fundamental changes aren't needed. Just a few tweaks to protect those with pre-existing. The number of non-illegal American's who cannot afford or who are denied health is probably around 15 million people. Not a ridiculous number.

    The media is filled with all of these horror stories about insurance companies but I personally have never seen the injustice. A friend of mine owns a few Chicago restaurants with an employee health plan. Most of the employees (like 95%) refuse to join. Their insurer spent 1.25mil in one year on just two claims-a kidney transplant and a heart attack.
    Personally I think insurers and put sellers are foolish heroes. If my premium rose tenfold it wouldn't induce me to want the other side of the trade. I'm one heart attack or surgery away from blowing through a few lifetimes of premiums in one afternoon.
    Me thinks our priorities are screwed up. While one assumes an apartment should cost $1500 a month in rent, we recoil at $400 a month for health. Maybe the two costs should be flip-flopped. Perhaps asset prices are slipping because more important costs like energy, food and insurance are crowding out the dollars spent on non-essential garbage like designer coffee, new cars and stocks trading at 50x earnings.

    When Big Brother and it's omnipresent mouthpiece Big Left Media talk about "controlling spiraling costs", who are they talking about? Health care professionals, eh? How dare an anesthesiologist make what some dumb broad lawyer earns. Ironic but as half the states America are crushed by the cost of public education one NEVER hears the media talk about "controlling education costs" when in fact vouchers offer a more prudent alternative. Perhaps if the AMA voted Socialist Party as reliably as does the NEA...

    One only look at Medicare fraud-in Miami alone 2.5b a year-to witness what a grand job Big Brother does in eliminating waste and theft.

    While government is the enemy, the REAL enemy is the leftist, elitists who dominate Big Media. It is they who should be harassed to the point of death like Dr. Tiller. We've been sold a bill of goods by the Bill of Rights. Big Media doesn't protect us from Big Brother but ENSLAVES us to Big Brother.

  8. A Doctor I know posted this on a sports forum I go too. Health care came up today and he shared his ideas.

    "1.) Malpractice: Get it out of the courts. It's easy for a smooth-talking lawyer to convince 12 laypeople that a doctor should have done this, or shouldn't have done that, etc etc. Medicine isn't as black-and-white as people would like to think. I'd like to see a panel of physicians make the rulings in malpractice cases, and keep the lawyers out of it. And the fines for doctors found guilty should be equal to future healthcare costs for injuries directly related to the malpractice + lost wages. No more punitive damages in the millions.
    2.) End the practice of employer paid health insurance. It is in the employer's best interest to pay as little for health coverage as they can get away with. It is in the employee's best interest to get the best health coverage they can get. These two interests are rarely both met. Employees should go out and buy their own policy, if they want to, and find the best coverage for the best price.

    3.) End the practice of ERs treating everybody, regardless of their ability to pay. In today's society, anyone who comes into the ER for treatment SHOULD be able to pay. Over 65? You're covered by medicare. Can't afford health insurance? You're covered by medicaid. Can afford health insurance but didn't buy any? That's your own damn fault.

    If you don't have health insurance, but you can afford it, and you can't get medicaid during your hospital stay, you're damn well going to pay the bill. No more free rides if you decide not to pay it.

    4.) Change the way new doctors are taught in medical school. In most medical schools, medical students are taught to approach patients in a very inefficient way: ask every question you can think of concerning the present complaint, past medical history, family history, etc etc, and get a lot of irrelevant information. Then, do a complete physical exam, descibing everything you hear/see/feel with no less than 5 adjectives. Finally, create a list of 10 possible diagnoses, regardless of how likely they are, and order any and all tests to work up every single possibility."
  9. One easy step to reduce costs would be to allow the Insurance companies to offer insurance across state lines.
    Now they need administration and licensing in each state they do business, it adds much to the overhead.
    Look at what Geico did to keep rates down and help competition in car insurance.
  10. I agree with most of what you say.The Dem's are probably going to take it too far,But the Republicans didn't do anything about it for 8 years and McCain's only solution was a tax credit after taxing your current benefits
    #10     Jun 21, 2009