Many Dislike Health Care System But Are Pleased With Their Own Care

New Poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Interviews Conducted by SSRS

The United States has the most advanced health care in the world. There are gleaming medical centers across the country where doctors cure cancers, transplant organs and bring people back from near death.

But a poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health shows that only one-third of Americans say the health care they receive is “excellent.” Even fewer people are impressed with the system as a whole.

“When you’re talking about health care, we have this amazing kind of schizophrenia about our system,” says Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association.

The split in thinking shows up in the poll numbers.

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 polls in this study are part of an ongoing series of surveys developed by researchers at the Harvard Opinion Research Program (HORP) at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and National Public Radio.

The “Patients’ Perspectives on Health Care in the United States” project consisted of eight polls, conducted via telephone (including both landline and cell phone) by SSRS of Media (PA)