Only 27% of Americans Think American Health Care Is Above Average

A couple of days ago I suggested that Democrats needed to conduct a scorched-earth campaign against insurance companies if they wanted to persuade the public to support some kind of national health care plan. But that got me thinking. Conventional wisdom says that employer health insurance is the “gold standard,” and that most people who have it don’t want to trade it in for something else. But is that true? Do most people really love their health insurance? Or has that declined as coverage has gotten narrower and copays have gotten higher? Here’s the answer according to Gallup:

To my surprise, nothing much has changed over the past two decades. Despite everything that’s happened over that time, opinions have stayed pretty steady. People love their health plans about as much as they ever did.

However, as I was gathering this data, I read through the Gallup survey questions and found something that surprised me a lot:

Conventional wisdom says that we Americans think our health care is the best in the world. But it turns out that only 27 percent of us even think it’s better than average—while nearly half think it’s worse than average. This sure seems like something we could build on as we’re trying to persuade the country that we can do better than what we have now. Anybody up for Make Health Care Great Again™?


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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