Given that the Supreme Court will rule on healthcare legislation in the near term, the most recent Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Index poll sought to assess investors' views of the current state of U.S. healthcare. Overall, investors see a crisis in healthcare generally but not in the quality of care they receive. In turn, no matter how the Supreme Court rules, it seems clear the healthcare goal going forward should be to reduce costs while maintaining the current level of quality.
Three in four investors are dissatisfied with the total cost of healthcare in this country. Over the past year, two in three investors who have health insurance through their employer say their cost has increased a lot (23%) or a little (44%). No wonder, then, that eight in 10 investors say the current health system is in a state of crisis or has major problems.
These concerns about healthcare costs and high ratings for the current quality of healthcare and insurance coverage extend to both nonretirees who rely mostly on their employer or union for health insurance, as well as retirees who rely on Medicare.
Reducing costs while maintaining quality is difficult for any business. Add in the costs of dealing with the uninsured, and policymakers face a major healthcare challenge. However, many parts of the economy and many major U.S. companies have faced similar challenges successfully.