May 18, 1994

The American Public and the Critical Choices for Health System Reform

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Health Policy and Management (Dr Blendon), Harvard Program on the Future of Health Care (Ms Hyams), Harvard Program on Public Opinion and Health Care (Mr Benson), Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Mass. Ms Brodie is a research fellow in the Harvard School of Public Health.

JAMA. 1994;271(19):1539-1544. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510430095043

AN ARTICLE published 2 years ago in The JOURNAL identified the seven critical choices that are necessary to craft any national health plan.1 Every proposal for reforming the health care system must, at a minimum, address these critical issues: (1) Should everyone be guaranteed health insurance? (2) How should universal coverage be provided? (3) How should universal coverage be paid for? (4) Should Medicaid be retained? (5) What health benefits should be included in a national plan? (6) How should health care costs be controlled? and (7) Who should administer a national health plan?

During the subsequent period, public opinion has been an important participant in the debate over health system reform. Almost every week newspapers report the latest poll results on health system reform. These survey findings are continuously cited by proponents of various reform proposals to buttress their particular positions. In this article we undertake a comprehensive

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview