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New Research Suggests Most Are Willing to Make Tradeoffs and Would Embrace Comprehensive Health Care Reform
Date:8/6/2009

0 percent, suggesting that opposition easily swayed a public that had not yet worked through the issues and reached a firm judgment.

The Voices for Health Care project took place in three very different states over the course of a year - Ohio, Mississippi and Kansas.

First, researchers engaged with health care, political, civic and business leaders in each state to create several health care reform scenarios to work through with the public. Then they engaged a random sample of participants representative of the U.S. population (nearly 300 in total) in daylong, two-way dialogue sessions to show how everyday Americans tackled the issues. Participants first created their vision of the health care system they wanted to see, and then worked through the difficult tradeoffs they would be prepared to make to realize that vision and to pay for it. Across all nine sessions (three sessions per state) participants reached a strikingly consistent set of conclusions.

Researchers quickly observed that the public approaches the issue of health care from a pragmatic - not a partisan - perspective and that participants were willing to change views on politically contentious issues after working through the tradeoffs of alternative potential health care systems and the viewpoints of other Americans. Those perspectives also made a dramatic difference in how participants felt about broad reform issues, such as universal coverage and limits on care. (Major insights are highlighted in the "key findings" section below.)

The report also showed that Americans across all demographic groups and the political spectrum might already agree on a number of important reform elements. Americans came to a quick agreement that a new system should provide greater focus on prevention and wellness, increase personal responsibility for one's own health, and ensure that all children have access to good care. They conclude
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SOURCE Viewpoint Learning
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