An interesting NYT poll indicates that America’s growing frustration with the rising cost of care is driving them to support government-based solutions rather than those from private insurers. Many prominent voices in healthcare seem to agree that the existing pay-per-procedure insurance model does not promote efficiency, providing proverbial wind to the Obama administration’s reformist sails until the Congressional Budget Office released costly estimates on the universal health plan.
HealthBeat argues that the government can provide universal access to care in way that does not jeopardize the country’s financial health or raise overall health care costs. If the Obama administration can get doctors and insurance companies at the same table to emphasize efficiency-based rather than volume-based compensation, maybe the cost of care in the U.S. can decrease over time. Still, major efficiencies will take time to materialize, necessitating tax increases to pay for the plan.
The NYT poll shows that Americans’ willingness to shoulder higher taxes is largely partisan, with Democrats supporting them and Republicans more mixed. If tax increases are indeed necessary to bankroll universal health access in the short-term, we are likely in store for a long battle in Washington on this issue. Stay tuned.