The First Draft: Is the US healthcare debate making Americans feel better?

November 24, 2009

The healthcare reform debate brewing in the U.S. Senate may cause dyspepsia for some special interests.
But the mere prospect of reform could be making the American public feel better already — about health coverage, at least. That’s according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a nonpartisan philanthropic organization devoted to health and healthcare issues.
The foundation’s consumer confidence index for healthcare climbed to a new high of 104.4 points in October, as the debate gathered pace in the Senate and House of Representatives.
Why? There was a big jump in people’s confidence about future access to care and coverage. Fewer worried about losing their insurance and concerns about future affordability dropped, too.
“During a month when there was considerable momentum around health reform, including the passage of a reform bill by the Senate Finance Committee, the American public appears to be more confident about the future,” Robert Wood Johnson Foundation president and CEO, Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey said.
“Americans of every ideology know that our health care system needs to be fixed and want some type of reform,” she added.
That last remark — “some type of reform” — could prove prophetic.
Republicans seem to think reform is a terrible idea and appear to be in lock-step opposition to it.
That leaves it to Democrats and allied independents to forge a filibuster-proof, 60-vote majority to push legislation through. Despite sharp differences within their already frayed coalition, Democratic leaders appear to be betting that the whole bunch, in the end, will opt for “some type of reform” rather than returning home empty handed for the holidays.

Photo Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst (U.S. Capitol)


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The US healthcare debate is making Americans realize what a stranglehold corporate money has on their government. Americans are feeling much worse, now that they see who really calls the shots.

Posted by Glenn Beck’s Appendix | Report as abusive

Sure thing Reuters. Only 38 percent want the health care fiasco mucking through congress. But Congress is going to force it down our throats anyway.It’s one thing to want health care reform, but very few people want what congress and the president want. People are screaming in opposition to the massive taxes and the increase to their health care premiums. Not only that, 24 million people won’t even be covered when this mess starts in2014. Health care for “all” Americans? Not even close.It is unsustainable and rationing is going to be the result. Look at what they are doing already by conditioning the public to accept less treatment by limiting mammograms and pap smears.It’s a travesty and Americans won’t stand for this government takeover.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

First off NOTHING in the health care bill constitutes REFORM,Reform would mean the INDUSTRY would be changing its ways of GREED.All this bill will do is make laws written by lobbyists to benefit ALL sectors of health care, and send the bill to the American tax payers,Who will promptly get the shaft, coming and going.

Posted by tincup56 | Report as abusive

US healthcare defined conventional medicine, has been headed in the wrong direction on important issues, since WWII, most of all insurance and nutrition.Tax-free corp insurance with FDA controlled patent medicine and med schools have hyperinflated the medical industry. This arrangement allowed a corrupt medical-pharmaceutical-insurance industry to be mmonopolized and driven by self interest of certain groups to the detriment of consumers and most cost effective technologies.Obamacare fixes none of that, just throws more money into the maw of the beast. Restructuring is best done by consumer dollars searching for best answers, not by misinformed fiat.

Posted by ba=non | Report as abusive

unfortunately people look at this present congress and they do not trust them or their integrity,and this has a negative effect on rational debate as to improving the problems of our health care system.If it was demonstrated that the politicians had the American peoples interest at heart instead of the own personal situation it would be considerably improve.The 300 000 000 dollar bribe that Harry Reid pulled last week to get a vote endorsement is the problem as we see how they shovel out hard earned taxes.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

TC two questions that have not been addressed,do young people know that they are going to be taxed to pay a share of health care?the ones i know seem to think that it will be free with out any obligation from them.Is it going to be financed from taxes taken from peoples wages like what happens in England?with no consideration for age just a blanket payment on the amount you earn,which will make young people partly financing the care of older people and make the burden increase on the young and healthy.Will there be any deductible? which if not there will be a deluge of people wanting to see a doctor for the least minor thing.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive