Public Opinion on Health Reform: What Do the Polls Mean?

October 23, 2009

Public support for health reform waxes and wanes depending, not only on what’s being proposed in the reform proposals, but also on who asks the question and how it is asked. Some recent polls indicate a majority of Americans support health care reform now; is that still the case? Do people want to pay for covering the uninsured – and if so, how much? What do seniors think about paying for health reform partly through changes to Medicare? Some polls indicate that most people like their physician but not the system. What if health reform means changing the system Americans now enjoy?

To address these and related questions, the Alliance for Health Reform and the Kaiser Family Foundation sponsored an October 23 briefing. Panelists were: Mark Blumenthal of, who has conducted and analyzed political and market research polls for more than 20 years; Karlyn Bowman, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a frequent writer about public opinion and policy matters; Humphrey Taylor, chairman of Harris Interactive, who has had overall reponsibility for more than 8,000 surveys in 80 countries; and Mollyann Brodie, who directs Kaiser Family Foundation’s public opinon survey efforts as a foundation vice president. Ed Howard of the Alliance moderated.

Findings from the Kaiser Family Foundation’s October Health Tracking Poll were released at this event.


Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Speaker Presentations

Mark Blumenthal’s Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Humphrey Taylor’s Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Mollyann Brodie’s Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Event Details

Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Event Resources