Public Feels Its Voice Is Not Heard In Debate, Poll Finds
News outlets report on issues surrounding support for health care reform including polls that find the public feels its voice is not being heard in the debate and that many people would support paying for reform.
NPR reports: "A new poll by NPR, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Harvard School of Public Health finds that, so far, the public feels profoundly shut out of the current health overhaul debate."
"'Most people don't feel that they personally have a voice in this debate,' said Mollyann Brodie, director of public opinion and survey research for the Kaiser Family Foundation. 'In fact, 71 percent told us that Congress was paying too little attention to what people like them were saying.' Still, according to the poll, the public is nearly evenly split about whether interest groups are a good or bad thing when it comes to health care. ... And who does the public trust when it comes to health care interest groups? Nurses got the highest vote of confidence, with 79 percent of those polled saying they have at least a fair amount of confidence that groups representing nurses would 'recommend the right thing for the country when it comes to health care.' Groups representing patients, doctors and seniors were next on the list. Groups trusted the least were those representing insurance companies, drugmakers and large corporations. Insurance companies and drugmakers were also among those respondents said were most responsible for the current problems facing health care. But so was the federal government. That presents no small obstacle for lawmakers" (Rovner, 9/30).
Reuters reports: "Most Americans would pay higher taxes to fund healthcare reforms that provide the best quality of care, but only a minority expects Washington to deliver it, according to a survey released on Wednesday. The telephone survey of 3,003 U.S. adults conducted by Thomson Reuters found 63 percent are willing to pay for healthcare reform, though most also said they are happy with their own doctors, insurance plans and out-of-pocket costs. However, only 35 percent of those surveyed said President Barack Obama's reform agenda and the debate in Congress will lead to better health service, while 41 percent said they would expect it to lead to lower costs" (Morgan, 9/29).
Meanwhile, CBS News reports that filmmaker Michael Moore said Tuesday that liberal voters will support Republicans who back health care reform instead of Democrats who don't: "'To the Democrats in Congress who don't quite get it: I want to offer a personal pledge. I and a lot of other people have every intention of removing you from Congress in the next election if you stand in the way of health care legislation that the people want,' Moore said, according to Politico. 'That is not a hollow or idle threat. We will come to your district and we will work against you, first in the primary and, if we have to, in the general election'" (Condon, 9/29).