Milwaukee Journal Sentinal:
Could any legislation that significantly overhauls the health care system win broad support? "Probably not - almost certainly not," said Charles Franklin, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Here are a few examples: People by sizable margins think the health care system needs to be • overhauled. At the same time, most people are happy with their own health insurance.
People think costs are too high, but by costs, they largely mean insurance • premiums, not the underlying cost of health care.
People want to control health care costs, but they don't want any changes • in their own health insurance or health care.
People are concerned about the federal budget deficit, but, at the same • time, a large majority think the government spends too little on health care.
People want to cover the uninsured, but they also are reluctant to pay • higher taxes to do it.
The recent UW Badger Poll found that 72% of the public considers the health care system to be in a state of crisis or having major problems. Yet 51% of the people surveyed were extremely or very satisfied with their health plans.
One Kaiser poll found that 67% of the public believes that Americans don't get the tests and treatments they need - and 55% thought an insurance company should pay for a test or procedure recommended by a doctor even if a less costly but equally effective treatment was available.
"There is no free lunch, and so how do you find a way to craft this plan that seems to cost citizens nothing in premiums or taxes and gives them benefits," Franklin said, "and still have some kind of effect on the cost of health care to individuals and the government?