Who Do You Trust On Health Care Reform?


Gallup has conducted a poll which asks about who people trust to recommend the right thing to reform the health care system. The results are summarized in the table above (click on it for a larger image).

They got it about right, although I suspect that many healthcare professors would give a more objective view than doctors. This does show why Obama felt it was necessary to try to obtain support at the recent AMA meeting. Doctors definitely go near the top (in my highly biased view) but our opinion must always be taken with a grain of salt. We see the problems of the uninsured and under-insured on a daily basis, and an increasing number of doctors are recognizing how far we have fallen behind European countries on many measures. Doctors do vary widely in our view of health care reform. While most realize that changes are needed, many doctors are also terrified of change if they feel it will result in lowering their incomes.

While doctors have conflicting motivations, many doctors do have the advantage of understanding a complex system better than people outside the system. As a result I’ve been able to write many posts about the unrealistic responses to the health care crisis which frequently come from the Republicans. I have also been able to respond to misconceptions which are also held by liberal bloggers who support health care reform. Working in health care can lead to understanding more about details being discussed than those who only write on the topic, but there are also many doctors who have little understanding of the business end and organization of health care.

Not surprisingly, the pharmaceutical and health insurance companies are distrusted, with the Republicans leaders in Congress trusted least of all. As an independent I go along with the political rankings here–which I would apply to most political issues and not only health care. While there are areas where I disagree with him, I would rank Obama well above the Democratic leadership. While I  am not a big fan of either political party, since their move to the far right in recent years I also agree with the placement of the Republican leadership well below the Democrats.


  1. 1
    Leslie Parsley says:

    I think people are wise to be leery of health insururance companies.  About a decade ago I wrote a 2-part series on, in particular, HMO’s. The research was extensive and the results didn’t make for a very pretty picure.  The banking and financial world are finally coming under scrutiny; hopefully the health insurance companies will be next.

    Back then I found a national HMO paying its local CEO a salary of $871,500.  This same CEO received a $1,575,000
    bonus and another $71,100 in compensation. Altogether, the top five executives earned nearly $7,000,000, not including stock options. This was written in 1996. I doubt if much has changed except for the profits increasing  accordingly.

    In the meantime, despite our gains in technology, quality treatment is a thing of the past; doctors are powerless to fight the insurance companies for better care, testing and treatment of their patients, actually resulting in death in far too many cases. Insurance IS Big Business, the well-being of the patients be damned.

  2. 2
    David Martinez says:

    Subject: President Obama’s Health Care Summit

    Base on President Obama’s meeting with Democrats and Republicans on the health care issues the February 25, as a senior citizen I can no longer contain myself. I have carefully listened to three sides and want to summarize what I have learned throughout this lengthy year on the subject.

    Last year, listening and watching the news on National TV, we saw and heard public protest against the President’s health reform effort. We listened to opinions on several sides and to our astonishment, over a period of months, it appears most of the protests were prompted by Republican action committees, lobbyist for the medical industry, drug companies and other and political groups with vested interests. This was disclosed over this period by well know national and international news organizations including Public Radio and TV. In other words, the public meetings were based on outright propaganda and lies, disguised as truths to many who became believers.

    What this tells me is that on occasion, the masses are asses and don’t think much about serious matters and on occasion will be driven to displays of emotional outbursts based on half truths and outright wrong information provided by professed professionals.

    In my humble opinion, it should be apparent that any thinking person would see through the lies but that is not always the case. Even some Independent voters are fed up but don’t seem to know what they are doing or where they are going. In just the last few weeks they have jumped from the Republican views to the Democratic view on the President’s position. It seems they too have been fooled and are taking the propaganda and lies in new directions. Apparently many don’t remember the adage “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”.

    The “status quo” on health care reform has to stop and politicians need to heed the people who are suffering every day and not to what they profess is a public that doesn’t want a health plan. Just whom are they referring to? The very groups they hide behind putting out the propaganda and lies.

    Our new President is smart and from what I have learned, places great thought to subjects and listens to advice from experts on health care. He is not given to whims or political pressure. He became President with the economy in turmoil due to a war in the wrong country in the first place. He is trying to deliver on the “change” he promised and instead of following his lead, both Republicans and Democrats have become obstructionists to any change. That includes the House, Senate and Congress. They need to get with the President’s health program and get the hell out of the people’s way. It is unfortunate the many good politicians, both Republican and Democrat are retiring from their posts. But what seems to be remaining on both parties are member’s that are sheep disguised as wolves. To them I say be a man (or great woman) and make the health plan a priority.

    This important issue that has been delayed for decades and at present is being viewed only on the short term. The longer term demonstrates a reduction in the deficit and it should include a public option to prevent insurance companies to continue their deceit. On this point, the Republican Party has taken to using the term Socialist and Communist and government takeover whenever anyone tries to obtain programs that benefit the public. They claim Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are broken and this has been going on for years. Why didn’t they fix it a long time ago? In addition, regarding the health plans cost, why don’t politicians stop wasting our money with pork and entitlements? What about the cost of the Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other associated actions like Yemen?

    It is apparent that the Republicans and some Democrats are trouble due to their position on many areas, owing to lobbyist and interests that only serve their need. Most European countries place health as a priority and provide health care to everyone, even visitors to their countries. If the United States has such great health care system, why don’t we have health for about 31 millions or more people without health care. Shame on you!

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