[Mb-civic] Americans support serious health care reform
ean at sbcglobal.net
ean at sbcglobal.net
Tue Sep 21 16:07:32 PDT 2004
While the U.S. health care system spends twice as much per person as does the
imperfect Canadian national health system with significantly worse results, while the
number of uninsured and underinsured Americans climbs, the price of health
insurance skyrockets, and the overall health of Americans declines, the "serious"
health care reforms put forward by both parties are mostly a joke. But, according to
this little article, the great majority of Americans are ready for a serious change...
September 16, 2004
Americans support health care regulation
Majority of those polled say they favor insurance
system similar to Canada and Britain to help
combat rising costs and less coverage
By Randi F. Marshall - Staff Writer
Rising health care costs and shrinking coverage have
prompted a significant majority of Americans to support
government regulation - or even universal health care,
according to a survey released yesterday.
Two-thirds of those surveyed said they supported a
health care "guarantee," similar to the Canadian or
British systems, according to the survey, which was
issued by Results for America, a division of the Civil
Society Institute, a Newton, Mass.-based think tank.
Additionally, 78 percent of Americans advocate
government regulation of health care, similar to
utilities such as gas and water, the survey found.
"What this survey shows is a nation in the grips of a
health care crisis," said Civil Society Institute
president Pam Solo. "Americans are now prepared to
embrace some tough ideas."
The Civil Society Institute says it is a nonprofit,
independent organization that attempts to focus on
social issues such as health care, education and the
environment. Solo, is a social activist and grassroots
advocate who has focused on issues such as national
health care, stem cell research and global warming.
The institute's survey of 1,020 adults showed that
while 85 percent of respondents have health insurance,
the majority of them have either seen their coverage
cut, or their costs rise. That represents about 100
million Americans, according to the institute.
The survey's results, particularly on the rising cost
of health care, have been echoed by other experts and
research groups. The Kaiser Family Foundation just
announced its findings that health care premiums rose
by double digits for the fourth year in a row in 2004.
"Health insurance is becoming increasingly unaffordable
in our country, especially for small employers," said
Kaiser president Drew Altman at a Washington, D.C.,
news conference last week. "We unfortunately should
expect the ranks of the uninsured to continue to pick
The statistics don't surprise Sher Sparano. The Forest
Hills health insurance broker has watched costs
skyrocket, as she negotiates plans for other employers,
and for her own small business.
"It's very expensive, and you deal with it every single
day," said Sparano, who runs a company called Benefits
Advisory Services. "I think there have to be some
That might include more government regulation, Sparano
said. In the long run, she noted, it will cost more if
people aren't getting the medical care they need.
Indeed. According to the institute's survey, nearly 20
percent said they skip or reduce dosages of their
medications because they cannot afford their
That translates into more than 20 million Americans,
according to Wayne Russum, senior researcher with
Opinion Research Corp., which conducted and analyzed
As a result, more and more Americans are turning to
Canada and other countries to buy their medications.
More than a third are either purchasing or would
consider purchasing their prescription drugs from
Canada or elsewhere, the survey found. Russum said 6
percent - or as many as 10 million Americans - have
bought their medications abroad.
Solo argued that the American public was ahead of
Washington politicians in their concern for health care
"The longer our leaders fail to take steps ... the more
millions of Americans will be squeezed out of our
health care system and left out in the cold," Solo
Copyright (c) 2004, Newsday, Inc.
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