Starting October 1, some 7 million currently uninsured Americans are expected to purchase insurance, as the next stage of Obamacare kicks in. Of course, the future of health care reform is not a given: Republicans and Democrats continue to butt heads on the law, with the former actively seeking to thwart it.
Regardless of Obamacare's fate, the fact remains that the nation needs to address the escalating cost of health care. This video provides an excellent nonpartisan breakdown of the nation's health care costs, how they compare to the rest of the world, and why solving the problem is so complex. We also recommend you read our Citizens' Solutions Guide on health care for an overview of the issue and some choices for tackling it.
Of course, any means of addressing rising costs in health care will require the public's support to be successful. Many may be skeptical and believe citizens will walk party lines without deliberating thoughtfully on our choices.
However, we spent part of this past year engaging average, middle-aged citizens across the country in meaningful discussions about possible cost-saving approaches, and we saw something entirely different unfold:
When given the chance and with the right kind of support, citizens wanted to engage the hard choices around long-term solutions to health care spending. And they did so with surprisingly productive results.
Participants in these discussions deliberated civilly and thoughtfully, often with others who didn't share their particular views. Furthermore, they wished more people, including policy leaders and health care providers, would do the same.
And it turned out, participants found a good amount of common ground on the sorts of policies they'd support as well as the policies that worried or concerned them.
We'll release the findings from this research in the coming months. If you are interested in receiving them, email Megan Donovan at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also change your mailing list preferences if you'd like to hear about other health care work we do in the future.