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Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Massachusetts Health Policy Forum

Massachusetts Health Policy Forum

December 8, 2008

Last Friday, the Massachusetts Health Policy Forum hosted an event titled “Impact of the 2008 Presidential Election on Health Policy.” Harvard professor Bob Blendon presented his analysis of exit polling results from the November presidential election. Stuart Altman, Phil Johnston, and Kerry Healey responded in a panel discussion on the role of health care issues in the election and what we might expect from the Obama administration. For more information and to view Professor Blendon’s slides, click here.

Some of Blendon’s key points:

  • Health care was the second most important priority for Obama voters; the economy was first. Within the economy, folks cared more about not being able to pay a medical bill than about stocks or mortgages. Cost and affordability are the critical needs within health reform, among Obama voters.
  • There was a huge gap between Obama and McCain voters on who was responsible for fixing the health care problem: Obama voters want others (the government/employers) to be accountable; McCain voters believe in individual responsibility.
  • Among the many possible routes to pay for health reform, an increase in taxes is not a viable option.
  • On his Health Business Blog, David Williams also posted some of his notes from the event and some of the panel participants’ key points.

    Lindsey Tucker
    Health Reform Policy Manager