What we believe (and don’t believe) about health care

In Mother Jones, Rudy Teixeira tries to make sense of survey results of American opinions about health care.

“So, it appears that the public is very open to a government-supported system of universal coverage, but not sure about how (and how fast) to get there and what kind of system it really wants. This is a challenging environment for advocates of universal coverage. To be effective, they will need to resolve a number of unanswered questions about public responsiveness to a universal coverage message.

1. Does the public see a connection between universal coverage and containing health care costs? If so, what kind and how can that connection be strengthened? If not, what can be done to create that connection?

2. The public says it favors a government role in guaranteeing health insurance coverage for all. But how does the public envision that role? And what does the public really hear when terms like ‘universal coverage’ and ‘guaranteed health insurance’ are used? Do advocates know what kind of terminology would actually work the best when talking about these goals with the public?

3. If the public believes access health care is a ‘right,’ is that the best way to talk about the goal of universal coverage? If not, what is the best way to connect to Americans’ values in and around the health care issue?”