Thursday, February 3, 2011

Health Reform: For or Against? What's your politics?


The Kaiser Family Foundation recently conducted a ten question "pop quiz", asking Americans questions regarding the Health Reform law that passed last year.  The results were quite interesting.  In short, we didn't pass.

There remains a great deal of polarization and confusion regarding the actual law and provisions contained within it.  To say it has been politicized would be a significant understatement.

The pop quiz contained questions regarding specific components of the law and Americans were asked to respond whether each was included or not in the final bill.  For example, participants were asked whether the law contains 'death panels' (government run committees charged with making critical end of life decisions for beneficiaries).  Hint: it does not.

Only 25 percent of respondents got seven of ten correct.  Less than 1 percent got all ten right.  Overall, 65 percent scored five or more answers correct.

Democrats (who mostly support the law) scored all ten right in 32 percent of cases.  In contrast, Republicans scored 18 percent.

Six in ten Americans believe the law creates a government run health plan - it does not.  Over 65 percent believe that all businesses must provide health insurance - smaller businesses, with less than 50 employees, are exempt, however.

Regarding death panels, four in ten believe they are contained in the new law.  Again, they're not.

So, the House has decided to repeal the law (though the Senate did not) and legal challenges have caught fire across the country, particularly among Republican AG states.  The politicization of the law continues, leading to great misunderstanding.  It's part of our U.S. system to debate and politicize and I believe, ultimately, we're better for it.  The unfortunate circumstance, however, is that managing and planning within the health care delivery system can become particularly challenging.  Organizations such as the VNA of Boston are accountable to the patients we serve... who are often the most vulnerable.  And who may be unlikely to care about these politics.

See all results here.

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