More common ground in health care reform law disagreement than meets the eye

April 22, 2010

Less than a quarter of Americans want no changes to the health care legislation signed into law by the president last month but there may be more common ground with other Americans than many think, according to the latest national survey by researchers from Indiana University's Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research (CHPPR).

When survey respondents were asked how they viewed the new law:

  • 21 percent said they were completely satisfied
  • 28 percent said they wanted changes made in the law
  • 39 percent said they wanted the law repealed and to start the process from scratch
  • 13 percent said they did not want any government health care reform
Of the nearly four in 10 Americans who want the law repealed and new legislation enacted, many still favor the same reforms that are already contained in the new law.

"When we looked at the responses of those who said they wanted to repeal the law and start from scratch, with the exception of the requirement that all Americans purchase , most of the things that they wanted are already written into the law. It appears that the mandate requiring Americans to buy health insurance may be the one thing they stringently oppose, and that may be the main motive for the push to repeal the legislation," said Aaron Carroll, M.D., M.S., director of CHPPR.

Even more surprising may be what people had to say about creation of a public option - a government-run insurance plan that had been proposed, but dropped from the final version of the law. The survey found the public option to be very popular with 59 percent of those asked supporting this reform.

Another unexpected finding was how much the phrasing of the public option question clearly mattered. When the public option was framed as a government administered option that would "compete" with private health insurance, only 48 percent of Americans supported it. When framed instead as a "choice" between government-provided health insurance or private health insurance, the percentage of Americas who supported it increased to almost 75 percent.

"Obviously how you pitch the public option matters, but its support overall makes it ironic that this aspect of health care reform - one that is apparently popular - was left out in the end," said Dr. Carroll.

Of those who desired further reforms to the health-care system, 83 percent were supportive of adding provisions on medical malpractice reform, 85 percent endorsed the sale of across state lines, and 73 percent wanted to see increased pharmaceutical regulation. However additional health-care reforms actually fell low on the list of priorities for the upcoming legislative session with reduction of the federal deficit and reforming financial system regulation being seen as the most important issues to be addressed.

More information: A full report on the survey can be found at chppr.iupui.edu/research/followuprepealsurvey.html

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Older drivers adapt their thinking to improve road hazard detection

September 26, 2017
A recent study finds that older drivers showed adaptive responses according to the amount of traffic in a driving scene when identifying road hazards. Although younger drivers are faster and more accurate at identifying driving ...

80 percent of activity tracker users stick with the devices for at least six months

September 26, 2017
Use of activity trackers, such as wearable devices and smartphone apps, is on the rise, and a new study shows that 80 percent of users stuck with the device for at least six months. Though the gadgets may help motivate users ...

Study finds being in a good mood for your flu jab boosts its effectiveness

September 25, 2017
New research by a team of health experts at the University of Nottingham has found evidence that being in a positive mood on the day of your flu jab can increase its protective effect.

New tool demonstrates high cost of lack of sleep in the workplace

September 25, 2017
Sleep disorders and sleep deficiency are hidden costs that affect employers across America. Seventy percent of Americans admit that they routinely get insufficient sleep, and 30 percent of U.S. workers and 44 percent of night ...

Maternal diet could affect kids' brain reward circuitry

September 25, 2017
Researchers in France found that rats who ate a junk food diet during pregnancy had heavier pups that strongly preferred the taste of fat straight after weaning. While a balanced diet in childhood seemed to reduce the pups' ...

Exercise can make cells healthier, promoting longer life, study finds

September 22, 2017
Whether it's running, walking, cycling, swimming or rowing, it's been well-known since ancient times that doing some form of aerobic exercise is essential to good health and well-being. You can lose weight, sleep better, ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

MikeLisanke
not rated yet May 01, 2010
No kidding? Who'd think that the main problem we have is a federal mandate to continue the excessive profits of health care insurance companies.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.