What the Public Thinks about Health Care Reform
Comprehensive health care reform legislation is moving closer to the floors of Congress. Democrats and Republicans have relied on vast amounts of research, including public opinion polls, to shape their positions and formulate policy solutions to reform the country’s health care system. Pundits and legislators alike regularly cite what the American people want in the final reform package, but just how complete is this research?
On October 8, the Brookings Institution and WorldPublicOpinion.org, a public opinion project managed by the University of Maryland’s Program on International Policy Attitudes, unveiled new survey research about public attitudes on health care reform. The data presents a new and complex portrait of how Americans view health care reform, seeking to differentiate between responses to the political debate, anxiety about potential change, and broader views on the role of government in health care. The poll also explores specific proposals from both sides of the aisle.
Steven Kull, director of WorldPublicOpinion.org, and Brookings Senior Fellow William Galston presented the survey’s key findings. Two Brookings experts then explored the implications of this research on the final legislative outcome.
After the program, panelists took audience questions.