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Americans Doubt Healthcare Reform Will Improve Quality, Cost

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, August 25, 2009

Most Americans are satisfied with the status quo for their own healthcare and are doubtful that reforming the system will create affordable or better quality medical care, according to a Thomson Reuters study released today.

The study, which tracks consumer attitudes toward healthcare reform, addresses a wide range of issues, including the cost and quality of healthcare, the prospect of higher taxes, and satisfaction with physicians and insurance coverage.

"It's easy to see why there is considerable disagreement about healthcare reform. People are generally satisfied with what they have, skeptical that change will improve the system, and divided on the role the government should play," says Gary Pickens, chief research officer for the Healthcare & Science business of Thomson Reuters and lead author of the study. "And we're seeing wide variance of opinion across demographic profiles, suggesting it will continue to be challenging for legislators to find the middle ground."

The analysis is based on a telephone survey of 3,007 households conducted from July 28 to Aug. 9—a segment of the Thomson Reuters PULSE Healthcare Survey, which examines healthcare behaviors, attitudes and utilization.

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