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

Poll: Republicans Think US Health System Is the Best; Dems/Indies Disagree

Poll: Republicans Think US Health System Is the Best; Dems/Indies Disagree

March 22, 2008

Every once in a while, a piece of survey research appears that is so "spot on" it blows my mind. That was my reac when I saw the new Bob Blendon survey on partisan differences in opinions about how good the US health care system is. Click here for the report. Bottom line:

A recent survey by the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Harris Interactive, as part of their ongoing series, Debating Health: Election 2008, finds that Americans are generally split on the issue of whether the United States has the best health care system in the world (45% believe the U.S. has the best system; 39% believe other countries have better systems; 15% don't know or refused to answer) and that there is a significant divide along party lines. Nearly seven-in-ten Republicans (68%) believe the U.S. health care system is the best in the world, compared to just three in ten (32%) Democrats and four in ten (40%) Independents who feel the same way.

I remember gagging every time Republican Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani went on one of his rants that the primary need is to preserve the high quality of US health care. Truth is, he's just reflecting the attitude of the Republican voter base. Also interesting is that, while Independents are in the middle as usual, they definitely tilt toward the Dem perspective.

Damn, this is a fundamental disagreement. And it sure makes the case why it's so hard to reform national health care policy.

By the way, if you want the truth about the US health care system versus other advanced nations, there's no better source than the Commonwealth Fund's extensive research on this topic.

Bottom line? Our system stinks! And, by the way, Canada's only looks good in comparison with ours. Compared with other systems, they stink, too!
John McDonough