This week I asked readers if they planned to watch – and if they thought the President would be signing that type of legislation this year.
Well, according to this week’s respondents, President Obama will get to sign some kind of health care reform legislation this year – but while 20.3% said “yes”, a more robust 34.4% said it “depends on what you call a healthcare reform bill.” As one reader noted, “He will sign something. The ‘cost’ of nothing happening is a political issue, not a healthcare issue.”
That said, one-in-four said there would be no such bill, while just over 20% said they were “not sure” about the matter.
That said, since the President reportedly hoped to build some support for health reform, I also asked readers if they planned to watch his press conference. Now, more than a quarter ( 26.6% ) weren’t sure – but nearly half ( 48.4% ) said they weren’t, and only a quarter said they were.
What might have been an interesting followup question would be how many of those who were watching were already persuaded – or were looking for answers – and how many who weren’t had already made up THEIR minds – but that will have to wait for another time.
What was interesting in skimming through the comments on this week's survey is the contrast between how many were scared that we would have reform - and those who were afraid we wouldn't - and those who were interested in fixing the system, but were more than a little concerned that Washington was up to the task.
As one reader noted, "If the US federal government had a better track record of changing things for the better, maybe I would not be so concerned, but they do not. For many employed Americans, the system is working, it's just the cost increases are very high each year." However, another reader said, "I sure hope Congress can come up with a solution most everyone can live with, because something has to change. We are a company of just over 50 employees, we have had some bad health issues on our plan (no other providers would even bid!). We were hit with a 68% increase in premiums last year. The company pays 100% of the employee coverage. Realizing that employees couldn't afford to absorb that much of an increase, the company had to pick up a larger portion (about 60%) of the dependent coverage. We can't afford to have another renewal like last year."
Another reader noted, "Sometimes you can have the best of intentions and still be wrong. The problem is, you don't know you're wrong until you've taken action."
But this week's Editor's Choice goes to the alliterative reader who said "Let's hope it is thought through thoroughly. This is too big to rush."
Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!
Here are a sampling of this week's verbatims:
- I think I'm going to hang with some screaming pre-teen in our pool vs. watching the press conference. NewsDash will give me a great summary!!
- I sincerely hope not. Not enough thought and objective analysis is being put into this. I feel like he just wants to be able to say he did SOMETHING and even though he says it isn't about him, I feel like it is. It's about making an artificial deadline that he has set and he doesn't want to look like he couldn't slam this down everyone's throat.
- I agree we need change but not change for change sake.
- I think that it is very scary.
- He will sign something. The 'cost' of nothing happening is a political issue, not a healthcare issue.
- There are two main issues in health care today that the Congress and the administration must separate in order to address either. At present they are not clear on addressing them in a cogent fashion. The first is the issue of the quality of medical care including the delivery system and the second is the funding of medical care. The president will attempt to force some type of "change" on the American people that will neither improve medical care or the funding system. Instead, the legislation will introduce change, confusion, increase the size and dependency on the government. This will be touted as healthcare reform even if it does not fix the issues at hand.
- I am certain some action will be taken, although perhaps not as broad or all encompassing in scope as hoped for to fix the myriad of problems that exist within our current healthcare system.
- I think that after a lot of stonewalling, SOMETHING will pass. It will bastardized, but Obama will call it a victory. I hope to God nothing passes because everything I've seen so far is a government takeover of health care. The system IS NOT broken. It needs help. But why do we think the government can do it better. If you go to Canada and YOU'RE NOT Michael Moore, you will wait MONTHS for a simple procedure. And that's Obama-care.
- I've not heard about people being denied life-saving procedure at hospitals. The system is helping these people, is it not? I have neighbors with no insurance. He's self-employed, and she works part-time at a church. They use local clinics for all of their medical needs. They've figured out how to work the system. He told me that if he had to provide health care to his employees (he owns a mower repair business), he'd either go out of business or have to fire 3 of the 5 staff he employs.
- I hope, I hope!
- I think there is a lot of pressure to get something done and he has too much of his reputation at stake if something isn't passed.
- I sure hope Congress can come up with a solution most everyone can live with, because something has to change. We are a company of just over 50 employees, we have had some bad health issues on our plan (no other providers would even bid!). We were hit with a 68% increase in premiums last year. The company pays 100% of the employee coverage. Realizing that employees couldn't afford to absorb that much of an increase, the company had to pick up a larger portion (about 60%) of the dependent coverage. We can't afford to have another renewal like last year.
- He will be signing something concerning healthcare. Whether, or not, there will be anything representing 'reform' remains to be seen.
- At least I hope not.
- We not need to spend and can't afford to spend trillions of dollars on something that will not work, will not provide the promised benefits, will drive up costs and will ruin the great health care received by the Majority of Americans. We also do not need to sock the RICH with higher taxes. These are the very folks that already pay most of the taxes and provde the spending and jobs that help runs our economy.
- Do I believe he's firmly committed to signing a healthcare reform bill? Yes. So far the proposals don't bode well - for employers or employees.
- Even though it may not be well thought out, he will push for its passage and will sign it--just to say that he kept his promise. Too bad.....
- Call me cynical, but it's DC. I don't see much getting done unless it will garners votes, or if there is an event to spur legislation- neither of which apply to healthcare reform.
- I don't think the there will be a plan proposed that everyone will agree upon by the end of the year.
- If you had asked this two weeks ago, I would have said absolutely. But today, I think not. Our legislative process at it's "best" will prevent a consensus.
- HE IS FORCING THE WRONG THINGS DOWN THE AMERICAN PEOPLES THROAT!!
- Reform that is worn on the backs of the same people who can't afford healthcare in the first place makes no sense. Looks like a piece of gum on a crack in the dam. Honestly, the more taxes I must pay, the less I purchase - the less I purchase, the more people out of work down the road. I don't have faith in the human race, especially those that have the ability to impact real change, that we are going to get this right anytime soon! Sorry I jumped on the "soapbox."
- In the format we see taking shape now, I sincerely hope not. He mentioned yesterday that as long as he listens to what the people want he'll make the right decisions. I think he's getting a bit deaf. More than half of the people recently said they are afraid of escalating costs and taxes. And the Congressional Budget Office agrees. Time to start listening more and changing plans.
- I think the resistance is too strong for even a drastically revised version to pass in 2009.
- But, I sincerely hope NOT!
- Our country has become too polarized to support a centrist. (sigh)
- I hope not!
- Any bill presented won't reform healthcare but will simply take it over, dooming all of us to disaster. And it really doesn't matter if he signs a bill or not - he will take over healthcare anyway. Laws, bills and the Constitution really don't limit him in doing what he wants to do. People can bury their heads in the sand for the virtue(?) of political correctness but they are fooling themselves and helping to destroy this country.
- I'm not happy about it, but yes, I think it's going to happen.
- Sometimes you can have the best of intentions and still be wrong. The problem is, you don't know you're wrong until you've taken action.
- Here come the amendments and riders. It can only get worse. Doesn't anyone in Congress have any business experience?
- Depends on how long it takes both houses of congress to pass the bill.
- I believe that Obama has gotten even tougher since he became President. He will get this done.
- I think that at least a mandate that everyone must have health insurance will pass.
- Right after he gets the red Oompa Loompa. Seems like he wants healthcare reform and he wants it NOW...
- Hopefully not.
- I've never been frightened of potential legislative changes before, not even the COBRA subsidy bill frightened me - the work required on such short notice was a little intimating but not the bill itself. This work frightens me because it has the potential to drastically change the health care landscape in the US. If the US federal government had a better track record of changing things for the better, maybe I would not be so concerned, but they do not. For many employed Americans, the system is working, it's just the cost increases are very high each year. We need to provide coverage to the uninsured and tackle to high annual cost trends, not put a government run plan in place that will siphon employees from employer plans. Most effective and electronic medical record methods, malpractice level controls, test results communication will all help control costs, those we need, desperately. Another government behemoth plan that costs three times more than expects, not needed so much.