Public Views on Shaping the Future of the U.S. Health System

August 17, 2006 | Volume 31

Authors: Cathy Schoen, M.S., Sabrina K. H. How, M.P.A., Ilana Weinbaum, M.Sc., John E. Craig, Jr., M.P.A., and Karen Davis, Ph.D.



On behalf of The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System, Harris Interactive surveyed U.S. adults to determine the public's perspectives on ways to improve patient care and on health policy priorities facing the President and Congress. Overall, the representative sample of 1,023 adults ages 18 and older revealed strong public support for efforts to improve care coordination and access to information. There is a shared belief that expanded use of information technology, care teams, and improved delivery of preventive services could improve the quality of care. Patients reported recent experiences of wasteful, inefficient, or unsafe care. In addition, half of middle-income and lower-income families reported serious problems paying for care and insurance coverage. Three-quarters of all adults said the U.S. health care system needs either fundamental change or complete rebuilding. Expanding insurance and controlling costs, they said, should be top priorities for federal action.


C. Schoen, S. K. H. How, I. Weinbaum, J. E. Craig, Jr., and K. Davis, Public Views on Shaping the Future of the U.S. Health System, The Commonwealth Fund, August 2006