The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

If you believe America has the best hospitals and the best doctors, why do you think so many Americans are so unhappy with the health care system?

A new poll just released by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health finds many Americans are conflicted when it comes to health care. In short, many are satisfied with their own care, but are dissatisfied with the overall system. From

Much the way people hate Congress but love their own representatives, people like the care they receive while complaining about the system. About 80 percent say they get good or excellent care. But 42 percent rate the health care system in their state as fair or poor.

The system is wildly complex and hard to navigate, and can be very frustrating. Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, says it’s this process of getting health care that people hate.

The poll report went on to say “Americans are much more negative about the nation’s health care system than they are about the health care system in the state where they live. Only 38 percent of adults in the U.S. had positive things to say about the country’s health care system, and fewer than one in ten (9%) gave it top marks.”

More than half of all the people surveyed said health care costs are a major problem in the state where they live. The poll also asked respondents about their views on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The graph below indicates that most Americans do not believe the ACA has directly impacted them.  Among the people who said it has, 25% claimed it has hurt them individually while only 15% said it has helped.


Share your thoughts on the poll and what you think it says about the way we are headed when it comes to health and health care. Generating provocative conversations that will help people better understand the complexities of the health system will take us another step closer to our goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!


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