MANAGED CARE: Americans See Health Care Getting Worse
Fifteen percent of Americans say they want government to deal with health care, putting the issue second on the list of things Americans say they want addressed in Washington, according to a new Harris poll. The poll found that consumers were not as quick to criticize managed care as is popularly assumed, though a majority of those surveyed said they see managed care as a detriment to their quality of care. Fifty percent of the adults surveyed said they think the nation's health care system is getting worse, compared to 42% who said they see it getting better. Despite assumptions on Capitol Hill that voters overwhelmingly are hostile to managed care, only a plurality (47%) of respondents believe the trend toward managed care is a bad thing. But 58% said they think more managed care will harm the quality of care consumers receive, almost double the number who said it would improve quality. When asked if they thought more managed care would contain health care costs -- a justification that often crops up in debate on the issue -- 48% thought it would keep costs down, but 45% said it probably would not. The poll of 1,011 American adults was conducted between July 17 and July 21; it has a margin of error of +/-3% (Harris release, 7/29).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.