What do Americans think about health-care spending? In what way, if at all, do their initial thoughts and feelings change when they have the opportunity to deliberate over different approaches to controlling costs? Which changes to the health-care system will people most readily accept and which are likely to elicit resistance?
In an effort to inform policy and broaden the dialogue about controlling health-care costs, Public Agenda, in partnership with the Kettering Foundation, used an innovative qualitative methodology called Learning Curve Research with Americans aged 40-64 in 4 cities around the country.
In this exploratory research, participants first engaged in open discussions about their views and experiences with the health-care system. Next, we presented the groups with key facts about the nation's health-care spending and listened as they asked questions and worked through what those facts meant. Participants then engaged in a facilitated deliberation, during which they considered and discussed three different approaches to getting health-care costs under control. Then in small surveys and one-on-one follow-up interviews, participants reflected on the deliberations and talked about their views.