Americans Are Surprisingly Clear-Eyed About American Health Care


Austin Frakt draws my attention to a new Gallup poll with this tweet: “Consistent with my hypothesis that people think their care is good/efficient, others is bad/wasteful.” Here’s the poll:

I’d draw a different conclusion. For starters, keep in mind that public sentiment on this question hasn’t changed much over the past decade. There are some ups and downs in recent years about the quality of national health care coverage, possibly based on the ups and downs of Obamacare, but it mostly looks like noise to me.

More importantly, though, I don’t interpret this as a belief that coverage for other people is either bad or wasteful. I interpret it as a surprisingly accurate assessment of U.S. health care. About two-thirds of Americans have either Medicare or company-provided health care (or something similar), and they correctly tell Gallup that their own personal coverage is pretty good. And it is! At the same time, most people also think that overall health care coverage in America is pretty mediocre, and that’s true too. How can you call national coverage good or excellent when 50 million people are uninsured and have crappy access to medical care?

If Gallup had called me, this is precisely the response I would have given them. My own personal coverage is quite good. Thanks, MoJo! However, I’d also say that overall coverage in the U.S. is terrible. Obamacare will, perhaps, upgrade that to merely unsatisfactory, but that’s about it.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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