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New Study Shows That American Public is Willing to Accept Major Reforms in Medicare Program
Date:12/29/2009

But to win public support, the report cautions, "proposals for major reform to Medicare need to recognize the extent to which Americans see Medicare as an essential part of the social contract and not just as another government program."

Steven Rosell, president of Viewpoint Learning, said "The findings from these daylong dialogues with Americans from very different backgrounds and perspectives reveal deep disconnects between how Washington talks about Medicare and health care reform and how the public talks about them. In case after case, the report shows how leaders and the public are talking past each other, and how this deep disconnect and misunderstanding lead to the heat and the rancor that have made advancing real reform so difficult."

When most people talk about the "cost of health care," for example, they are focused on what they pay in premiums, co-pays and drug expenses. When health care experts talk about costs, however, they usually focus on the costs to businesses, government and other institutions.

Rosell also noted that many Americans do not realize that they are essentially paying for the cost of care for the uninsured already.

The new report, he said, provides insight for leaders about how best to bridge such disconnects and begin to create a learning curve that could lead to public support for significant Medicare reform.

Some elements in the new report also echo the findings of The Concord Coalition's fiscal advisory councils that met in early December in Washington. Working in six different parts of the country on Concord's Fiscal Stewardship Project, these advisory councils called for sweeping reforms in the health care system and some changes in Medicare to put the government on a more sustainable fiscal path. More information on the advisory councils' work is available at:


SOURCE The Concord Coalition
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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