The latest New York Times/CBS News poll indicates that 72 percent of Americans strongly favor a major overhaul of the health care system and support a government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers.
Most Americans say they are willing to accept higher taxes in order to provide all citizens with coverage and believe the government would do a better job of holding down costs than the private sector.
At the same time, poll respondents indicated they are uncomfortable with the impact government involvement might have on the quality of their own health care. Eighty-five percent of respondents believe the health care system needs to be radically altered, while 77 percent said they were “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with the quality of the care they currently receive.
These conflicting public opinions helped kill the last attempt to revamp the health care system during the Clinton administration sixteen years ago. Today it represents the huge obstacles that face President Obama and the nation’s lawmakers as they attempt to address the health care system’s fundamental problems.