Poll Finds That Public Will Trust an Independent Review Panel More Than the Government To Make Decisions on Medical Insurance
More than half of U.S. residents polled said they would trust an independent scientific panel to decide which medical treatments insurers should cover, compared with 42% who said they would trust a government health agency to make that decision, according to a recent poll by NPR, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, NPR.org reports (Silberner, NPR.org, 4/26). The telephone survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,238 adults was conducted between March 12 and March 22 ("The Public and the Health Care Delivery System," NPR/Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health, April 2009).
Currently, there is no national standard for what health insurance plans are required to cover. Under the Obama administration's stimulus package, $1 billion is included to conduct comparative effectiveness research, which would study the different types of medical treatment to determine what works best. Officials have been soliciting advice from health experts and the public on how it should be conducted, and who should have the final word, NPR.org reports.
Uwe Reinhardt, a health economist at Princeton University, said while a government board could handle making such decisions, an independent board might be more acceptable to the public (NPR.org, 4/26).
The full results of the poll are available online.
NPR's "Weekend Edition" on Sunday reported on the poll. Last week, NPR reported findings from the survey on its programs "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" (Silberner, "Weekend Edition," NPR, 4/27).