Polling analysis: Public support for health reform was broader than reported and depended on how proposals were framed

David Grande, Sarah E. Gollust, David A. Asch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

The excessive focus of news organizations on "horse race" public opinion polls during the debate about health reform in 2010 left the impression that the public was fickle, as well as sharply divided on whether the government's role in health care should expand. We examined polling data and found that public support for health reform depended very much on how individual policies were described. For example, support for the public insurance option, which was not included in the final version of the Affordable Care Act, ranged from 46.5 percent to 64.6 percent depending on how pollsters worded their questions. Our findings indicate that public support for health reform was broader and more consistent than portrayed at the time. Going forward, policy makers should strive to communicate how health care policy choices are consistent with existing public preferences or should make changes to policy that reflect those preferences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1242-1249
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Affairs
Volume30
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2011

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