The Alan Katz Health Care Reform Blog

Health Care Reform From One Person's Perspective

Alan Katz Health Care Reform Blog First Unscientific Survey Results

Posted by Alan on November 11, 2007

My thanks to those of you who responded to the first Alan Katz Health Care Reform Blog Unscientific Survey. There were literally dozens of responses, but not many dozens. So when I say the results are unscientific, we’re talking extremely unscientific. For what they’re worth, however, here’s the results (to see the survey instrument, please click here):

 1. Do you think any health care reform legislation will be enacted in 2007? Do you think it should?
21% of the respondents predict the state will enact comprehensive health care reform. More than twice as many (46%) believe health care reform should be enacted.  The comments give a clue as to why more than half of the respondents believe health care reform should not be passed this year: they don’t believe the state will get it right. One respondent wrote, “The current legislative solutions do not address the problem. We need better solutions.” Another comment: “Putting reform solely in the hands of bureaucrats and elected officials is a very dangerous thing to do.”  A third wrote, “I think reform is necessary, but reform simply for reform’s sake is a recipe for long term disaster (especially when it involves government involvement). Think it through, get it right.”

2. Do you believe California’s health care coverage should be Employer-based (AB 8), Individual-based (Governor’s plan), or Government-based (SB 840)?
An overwhelming majority of the survey participants, 79%, favor individual-based reforms. 14% favored an employer-based structure and 7% favored a government approach. However, most of the comments indicate that a mix of these approaches would be the most appropriate. Unfortunately, I didn’t allow for multiple selections, which would have provided a more complete picture of people’s opinions. My apologies.

3. What [payroll] tax fee do you think the legislation should use, will use and what do you think it will need to be in two years?
The consensus is that the Governor and Legislative Leaders will compromise on a payroll tax of between 5.0-and-5.9%, that the payroll tax should be less than 4% and that it will need to be greater than 10%.

4. At what [income] level do you think premium support should be made available?
The consensus of the respondents was that premium support should be made available to residents in households earning up to 300% of the Federal Poverty Level (approximately $62,000 for a family of four). However, 400% also received a substantial amount of support. One respondent noted that “The question is wrong. The issue is whether people should be required to pay more than a percentage of their income. Up to a certain point there would be subsidies, after that there should at least be exemptions.” This is the approach the Democratic majority is taking and it does make a lot of sense, as long as the exemption isn’t so large as to negate the requirement that all residents obtain coverage.  Another respondent warned, “Somebody’s got to pay for these subsidies, and the bill is going to be a lot bigger than politicians are telling Californians.”

5. Do you support an 85% Medical Loss Ratio Requirement?
No surprise here: 75% of the respondents opposed an MLR target. Among the comments, “Let competitive market forces work without the monkey wrench of cost controls. ” And “It could be penny-wise and pound-foolish if it prevents reasonable cost containment efforts.” And “Competition and the free market should govern administrative expenses. A 15% cap will discourage the sale of low cost policies. It will discourage investment in infrastructure.”

There you have it. Unscientific, but interesting, at least to me. Thanks again to all those who took the time to participate.

One Response to “Alan Katz Health Care Reform Blog First Unscientific Survey Results”

  1. Idetrorce said

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

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