RWJF Content Alert – Public Perspective on Health Delivery System Reforms

Publication Date: 
June 22, 2009

Recent public opinion polls, surveys and town hall meetings consistently show broad support for federal health care reform—though identifying the public’s opinion on the specific policies that may comprise health reform is difficult. Developing a deeper understanding of consumers’ preferences and misconceptions about health care is critical as policy-makers attempt to pass health reforms.

According to a new report by Jill Bernstein, Ph.D., "Public Perspectives on Health Delivery System Reforms," better understanding of the public’s preferences could help policymakers design, describe and market reform proposals. History shows that when the public does not understand specific proposals—or lawmakers do not fully understand public reactions to these ideas—interest groups are able to leverage public opinion to derail reform.  See report and companion issue brief at