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Victor Fuchs comments on the public's opinion of health reform

An e-mail from Stanford health economist Victor Fuchs, PhD, was shared on the New York Times' Economix today. The subject of Fuchs' correspondence: a recent Associated Press poll on Americans' view of health reform. He wrote:

My reading of the replies leads to the following conclusion: Despite all the media coverage (or maybe because of it), most of the public has a very limited understanding of the health care system and health policy. They think the insurance companies are the main problem. They think an employer mandate is a good idea because employers pay for care. They want to control cost, but oppose every policy that might do that except for thinking that drug company and insurance company profits are too high. They say they want everyone to have access to care but only one in four favors an individual mandate.

He goes on to say that the public's understanding of reform is clearly limited, and he wonders:

To what extent does the politicians’ inability to produce more meaningful, sustainable reform reflect their (correct) reading of the public’s ambiguous, ambivalent support of such reform?

Previously: Health economists give Obama their two cents on reform and Victor Fuchs offers contrarian view on health reform

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