HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What Patients' Want . . . . It's Pretty Costly

The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog's Theo Francis posts on a potential problem with health reform that was revealed in a recent Mayo Clinic on-line survey.  It is an interesting overview of what some Americans would like to see happen to health care and how some of their goals are contradictory.  Theo Francis writes,

Nine in 10 respondents said health-care costs are too high. But eight in 10 called it very or extremely important that patients should have “freedom of choice” to pick insurers, hospitals and doctors. Some 72% said no one should be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, and 70% think care should be based on patients’ preferences and needs.

Some currently hot policy ideas got less full-throated — but still solid — support, including a federal health board modeled on the Federal Reserve, mandatory health insurance and encouraging patients to have a “medical home,” or one primary-care provider to coordinate treatment. Nearly two-thirds thought it “important” or “very/extremely important” that the federal government “play an important role in funding health-care.” . . . .

Oh, and the chance of anything actually happening? Just 17% think reform is likely in the next decade. Another 17% are on the fence. We’ll do the math for you: Two-thirds think it ain’t likely.

The online survey was conducted by Harris Interactive for Mayo during the third week of December. Participants included 1,018 U.S. residents, age 25 to 75. They were involved in making health-care decisions for their households.

You can see a presentation of the results here, part of a symposium on health policy the Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center is holding today.

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