Friday, March 24, 2017

They don't get out much

To outsiders, the American health and leave system has always looked like a complete mess. 

Yet, even with the controversy swirling around health care reform, this article notes that Pew survey results indicate Americans are not as concerned about their own mess as you would expect:
“In general, the public has a more positive view of policies that incentivize employers or employees rather than those that create a new government fund to finance and administer the benefit,” the Pew researchers write.
This mirrors an interesting quirk in health care: People seem to trust their own employers more than the federal government to handle their health benefits and insurance, even though people end up more satisfied when the government provides it.
In some ways, this is just a side effect of Americans’ eroding trust in government, which is near all-time lows. Just one in five Americans trust the government “always or most of the time,” according to a 2015 Pew poll. Meanwhile, American trust in businesses is considerably stronger. Not only does “big business” outperform Congress on measures of public confidence, “small business” is the one of the most trusted “institutions” in the U.S., according to Gallup—second only to the military. That faith is revealed in this current Pew survey on paid leave, in which two-thirds of workers said they “believe their employer cares a great deal or a fair amount about the personal well-being of their employees.”
I think the answer lies in two things:   the streak of paranoia that runs through American politics  and which is a never ending source of fascination and concern to foreigners, and the fact that very few  Americans ever get to experience how other nations with greater government involvement in health care work.    (I don't think it a myth that Americans are not big overseas travellers, let alone stay long enough in other countries to ever need their health system.)

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