Poll: Is competition or government the best health care solution?

Americans don’t believe government policies are the best answer to the nation’s health care problems.

That’s according to a recent poll by ScottRasmussen.com.

Forty-eight percent (48%) of respondents said they believe new technologies will have a bigger positive impact on the future of health care than new government policies. Twenty-nine percent (29%) have the opposite view.

Forty-one percent (41%) of voters say more competition between health care providers is more likely than more government regulation to improve the quality of medical care.

Among other findings: 41% say technology and competition is good for the industry and will improve medical quality. Twenty-five percent (25%) say technology and competition will worsen medical quality and 34% said they are not sure.

In general, Democrats and Republicans agree that the health care system needs some fixing up, but Democrats are more focused on technological solutions. Republicans are more focused on competitive solutions, according to the Scott Rasmussen poll.

You can find more in-depth results here: Scott Rasmussen poll on healthcare, technology, and competition.

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10 thoughts on “Poll: Is competition or government the best health care solution?”

  1. I don’t think Government-operated health care is the answer, but I am concerned that “competition” would not really be competitive. Farmers and some other producers of essentials are permitted, by law, to collude for price fixing: they create co-ops that agree among themselves to destroy excess crops or refuse to sell below pre-determined prices. They also become vulnerable for use by foreign governments to coerce the US government to change policy (Mexico in particular has been very open about targeting, say, the US potato farmers, to use the threat of refusing imports of US potatoes for processing in Mexico, as leverage to get those potato farmers to lobby against US Immigration enforcement.

    My serious concern is that health care industries would be given (if not already) much the same legal protection to fix prices and control supplies, to lobby effectively against new entrants into the market, etc. Already, we see this in the vaccine manufacturers: they use their licensing to control supplies and prevent ethical vaccines from entering or remaining available to US consumers.

    I would like to see a patient-initiated limit to liability, that insurers were required to honor, that would allow patients to opt out of certain liability claims when selecting providers and treatments. There are so many expensive tests or services or practices that are considered “best industry practice” that liability issues force providers to use or have on hand – these drive up costs without improving patient care.

  2. It doesn’t have to be an either/or approach. Neither all government nor all private will work. Many perhaps a majority of Americans want whatever solution that appears to be free to THEM. That’s not possible so politically acceptable solutions will be hard to come by in this environment.

  3. I have to agree with Tina. Normally, I would say competition is best; especially given how the VA and Medicare have been run. But with consolidation of big hospital systems and insurance companies, they. O longer can be trusted to do the fair thing. More control with HSA’s, transparency of cost of procedures, and unfortunately, some govt oversight of drug prices will be needed. I fully understand Pharma companies have a big R&D taboo recoup when pricing their drugs. However, when they sell to any other country at a lower price than in the US, that is bull.

  4. Presten Witherspoon, D.C.

    The best solution to me seems to be Health Savings Accounts for all, with catastrophic coverage the mainstream. Extend this into Medicare, Medicaid and the VA, and you will place health consumers in charge of their own health. ACA seriously overstepped its bounds, trying to require everyone to cover everything possible. This exceeded the primary stated goal of “no one should go bankrupt because of medical bills”. Catastrophic coverage would solve that issue.

    HSAs can be used to pay for the healthcare itself OR to pay premiums on other health insurance. This would give those on government healthcare already the option of using existing systems (like the VA hospital) OR purchasing their own individual coverage. This provides, at a minimum, a stopgap, while empowering those on the government healthcare systems to enlist better coverage if they wish while also not forcing those with their own coverage to abandon it.

    Combine this with transparency in pricing (both in services and products), and you’ve made a serious inroad into solving the ballooning cost of health insurance and health care.

    1. Presten Witherspoon, D.C.

      IN ADDITION, if you make HSA balances transferable upon death (as part of an estate), there is the distinct possibility that some families will, based upon their decisions and actions, over time, build up major balances. These can only be used on health services & products, so in the future event of a major illness, such families would be in a much more stable position to cover that with HSA money that was passed down. This would have the effect of encouraging health long term so people are more likely to attempt to make wise health decisions so they can pass down health care dollars to their heirs. It would also be something untaxed that could benefit lower income families as well depending on all the factors above.

  5. WestcoastDeplorable

    What the government needs do is remove obstacles that keep costs so high. Why does snake antivenom coast 50x more here than Mexico? Americans pay more for drugs and procedures than most anywhere else in the world. Why is that? Especially since our tax dollars are used for most of the research done in finding new drugs/cures.
    That’s where the gov needs to have a hand…to depress prices/costs so insurance isn’t that big a deal. There’s no excuse for $10,000 for a few hours in the ER!

  6. They should work together as checks and balances. Competition promotes excellence and government makes sure that poor people are not punished for being sick.

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