Saturday, 12 October 2019

Majority in U.S. favor more health care spending but don't press for reform

Majority in U.S. favor more health care spending but don't press for reform

70 percent trust private entities more than government for innovation, survey finds

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The Cost Of Healthcare

WASHINGTON (WKBT) — Americans aren’t interested in seeing big reforms in health care even in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, although they don’t think the U.S. is spending enough to protect health according to a new poll.
COVID-19 has strained U.S. hospitals as the virus has sickened more than 1.9 million Americans and killed more than 108,000 sincere February. What’s more, an estimated 27 million workers lost job-based insurance coverage in the economic shutdown in the effort to slow the spread of the virus.
But a survey of 1,001 adults by the University of Chicago Harris School for Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that people are detached more likely to prefer the private sector than the government to drive innovation in health care, improve quality and provide coverage.

Those results are basically unchanged from February, when the prevailing sentiment in the United States was that the novel coronavirus was a problem in other countries, not the U.S.
“It does strike me as odd,” said Gaye Cocoman, a retired data processing administrator from small-town Macedonia, Ohio, who has Medicare.
“I’m covered, but I look at the millions of people who aren’t and wonder what in the world they’re going to do if they get sick,” Cocoman said. “There seems to be no appetite for change.”
About 70 percent of the respondents were more likely to trust private entities over government agencies as sources of innovation. For improving quality, the private sector had a 62-36 percent advantage.
The gap narrowed to a 53-44 percent advantage for the private sector in providing insurance coverage.
The government gained an edge — 54 percent to 44 percent — in people’s perceptions of its ability to reduce costs.
The tendency to maintain the status quo during a crisis could be a reflection of human nature, said health economist Katherine Baicker, dean of the Harris School of Public Policy.
“I wonder if the short-term crisis dampens people’s appetite for health system reform,” Baicker said. “The idea of upending the health system at this moment … it may be that people think, ‘No — let’s get a vaccine.’ ”
On the other hand, 56 percent of the respondents lamented that the U.S. isn’t spending enough to protect the nation’s health. Spurring that reaction were coronavirus-related shortages of everything from breathing machines for desperately ill patients to protective gear for nurses and doctors to cotton swabs and testing materials,
That, and the 42 percent who said the government is spending too little on health care in general, were similar to the responses before the pandemic.
Christina Rush, a middle school counselor from Raleigh, N.C, is among those who think the U.S. should spend more on health care and cites the virus as a reason.
“Looking at COVID, I didn’t realize the huge shortages of material that would be needed,” Rush told surveyors. “I would have thought we had what we needed in terms of the medical system, but it seems we were so far behind some of these other countries, like South Korea. We could be spending more.”
People’s impressions about their personal situations have morphed since February, the surveys found.
For example, utility worker Nick Zumbusch that is reflected in his observation about workplace gripes.
“In February, people had all sorts of complaints about their jobs — their daily tasks, their hourly pay,” said Zumbusch, a father of three from Waconia, Minn., about 35 miles southwest of the Twin Cities.
“Come May, there wasn’t a whole lot of complaining,” Zumbusch said. “It was, ‘I’m happy to be here, and I’m discouraged to have a job.’”
The AP-NORC poll of 1,001 adults was conducted May 14-18 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.


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