The Alan Katz Health Care Reform Blog

Health Care Reform From One Person's Perspective

Another Poll on Health Care Reform

Posted by Alan on September 22, 2007


There’s a new poll out on the attitude of Californians on health care reform. The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) is the latest survey contributor. The survey shows health care reform is now neck-and-neck with immigration issues at the top of issues Californians care about. Like the recent Field Poll, the PPIC reports a strong demand among voters for substantial changes to the state’s health care system.

Like that Field Poll, this shouldn’t surprise anyone. After months of public pronouncements by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Democratic presidential candidates, the media, Michael Moore and others proclaiming the system to be broken, Californians are coming to the conclusion that the system is, well, broken. (For an excellent analysis of the poll, check out Frank Russo’s post at The California Progress Report.)

This doesn’t mean these polls should be ignored. First off, we couldn’t if we wanted to. Both Governor Schwarzenegger and Legislative Leaders have already issued press releases trumpeting the poll as evidence their health care reform plans have voter support. And in the echo chamber that is Sacramento, the poll will strengthen the conventional wisdom that reforms are needed.

As I posted yesterday, I agree that California has a tremendous opportunity right now to make constructive changes to our current health care system. My prediction that we’d see the Governor’s proposal in bill form on Friday was wrong (although now the rumor is we’ll see it sometime this coming week). I’m anxious to see what the Governor is proposing. Until then, most of the discussion will be on the politics of health care reform. Once the Governor’s plan becomes concrete, the focus should change to the policy of health care reform. Then polls should matter less and the effectiveness of proposed solutions should matter more. “Should” being the operative word.

One Response to “Another Poll on Health Care Reform”

  1. Obviously everyone has concerns and “issues” (the new term for problem) with much of the discussion. My first concern is that the majority of people have bought into the idea that the system is broken and therefore it’s the insurance industry’s fault. The reality is that our industry is working very well for the majority of citizens with coverage. Their major concern is the ever increasing costs have to stop. Let’s agree with that statement and show where those costs are coming from. Ask them to solve it.

    A cap on expenses is Sacramento’s solution. I’m not an economist but I can’t recall a single situation where an artificial cap on any economic component worked for any extended time. For the sake of argument I would say two years before there is a serious ramifications. Examples that come to mind are wage and price freezes or steel price supports all ended as abysmal failures.

    The 7.5 fee or tax is absurd if the state wants to use Medi Cal as the provider reimbursement rate. It would solve the coverage problem but certainly not solve the treatment problem.

    As Europe, and Australia move further away from single payer it seems ridiculous for this to have serious consideration. Even Canada will be introducing optional private insurance plans. Seems silly not to learn from somone else’s grand experiment.

    HIPIC or Pac-Advantage demonstrated two important issues; first pools are not a panacea to control rates, second employers and employees turned to agents for advise.

    Advise! an interesting concept as many of us have web sites to do business will we sleep. People constantly do their research on the net to purchase coverage, then are disappointed. Unfortunately the word research is substituted for what they are looking for and that’s cheapest.

    Agents continue to be a key player in helping employers and individuals make these important decisions.

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