U.S. residents generally are dissatisfied with the current health care system, but the majority are satisfied with the quality of care they have received, according to a study in the Milbank Quarterly. The study also found that U.S. residents believe the current health care system can be repaired, yet a consensus on an alternative system has not been reached in any survey.
Harvard University and the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted the study, which analyzed more than 80 public opinion polls over the last 25 years to determine trends and current views of health care costs, access and quality.
According to researchers, 12% of participants polled this year named health care as one of the two most pressing issues for the government to address. A similar poll found that 39% of participants indicated health care costs as the top health care issue for the government to address.
Other national findings from the study include:
- 38% of U.S. residents this year were confident in the nation's health care system; and
- 21% of U.S. residents in 2005 rated health insurance coverage in general as excellent or good.
Researchers found that 45% of U.S. residents who had received medical care during the past year rated the service as excellent. In a similar 2005 poll, 29% of participants rated the quality of care as excellent and 49% rated as good.
The study attributed the general dissatisfaction with the national health care system to feelings of economic insecurity in paying current or future medical bills, as well as poll participants taking other individuals' medical and economic problems into consideration (Blendon et al., Milbank Quarterly, December 2006). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.