As part of a national conversation on health care the Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center is holding outside of Washington DC, the luminary health provider sponsored a poll into Americans’ views on health reform. The survey found that Americans are:

  • Frustrated with health care
  • Interested in getting ‘more involved’ in their own health care
  • Distressed with health care costs
  • Opposed to paying new taxes, and,
  • Keen to improve quality, coordination and access.

1 in 8 of survey respondents is uninsured. These uninsured folks tend to be less educated and less affluent, and fewer are married.

Whether insured or uninsured, the cost of health care greatly concerns all Americans: 91% of the insured and 99% of the uninsured claim that health care costs are too high.

Across-the-board, about one-half of Americans rate value, access, and coordination of care fair or poor. Not surprisingly, those who are sicker or uninsured rate these factors even lower than those who are well or insured.

These findings together say that Americans are unhappy about the current state of health care in the nation. However, one of the positive and important findings in this survey is that most people want to engage with information and tools to help them better manage their health.

Which stakeholder groups are in the best position to affect change in the U.S. health system? Survey says…insurance companies, health providers, Congress and consumers. Here’s where peoples’ responses vary by health condition: for example, the well feel more empowered and therefore more of this group sees “consumers” in a position to impact change. However, those people in fair or poor health status look more to insurance companies to impact change.

Politics, health insurance, and cost are seen as the key barriers to health reform.

Health Populi’s Hot Points: This is the most downbeat poll I’ve seen in recent months concerning how Americans perceive prospects for health reform in the next decade. This poll, taken in December 2007, shows that Americans (age 25-75) don’t hold out much hope for solving U.S. health care problems anytime soon. The irony revealed here is that while insurance companies are seen as a potential agent of change, Americans view them as a barrier to that change.

The survey can be viewed here. You may need to take an aspirin (or alternatively a mild antidepressant) to prevent depression once you review the details…