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'We Only Trust Nurses to Fix the Healthcare Crisis,’ Says America

The average American trusts nurses more than other groups to improve the current healthcare system, according to a survey.

Year after year, nurses are the most trusted profession in the US, and according to new research, this honor extends beyond their one-on-one patient care.

The average American trusts nurses more than other groups to improve the current healthcare system. This was a significant finding of a recent survey analyzing Americans’ views on healthcare reform funded by The Commonwealth Fund, The New York Times, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Some 58% of more than 2,000 participants said they place “a great deal” of public trust in nurses — the only group to earn majority support — followed by:

  • 30% for physicians.
  • 18% for hospitals.
  • 14% for labor unions.
  • 6% for both the state and federal government.
  • 5% for Congress and business leaders.
  • 4% for health insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

Trust in nurses also varied based on health-reform preference. Participants disclosed whether they prefer Medicare-for-all, improving upon Obamacare, or the Republican plan to pass new legislation giving power back to the states. Some 65% of participants who favored improving the ACA said they trusted nurses “a great deal,” compared to 59% of those who want to replace the ACA with state plans and 54% who support Medicare-for-all.

“When it comes to public trust in various groups trying to improve the US healthcare system, Americans favoring all three plans generally do not trust any major interest groups, with the exception of nurses,” the authors noted. “This suggests that if outside groups are to play an important role in shaping the future of health reform, they will need to coalesce around a shared vision of what it should look like.”

Other interesting findings from the research include:

  • Medicare-for-all was the most popular option, with 32% of the vote, followed by 29% for state plans and 28% for improving the ACA.
  • Views of the US healthcare system somewhat predicted voters’ reform preferences; 55% of Republican-plan supporters believe the US healthcare system is the best in the world, compared to only 21% of Medicare-for-all supporters.
  • More than half of the participants, 58%, favored approaches put forward by Democrats.

In addition to inspiring struggling nurses, this survey foreshadows health insurance reform’s role in the upcoming election. That is to say, healthcare influences how many Americans vote, and percentage rankings for the plans were relatively close, so that it could be a tight race.

There was one thing participants could agree on, though.

“Regardless of their preferences for health insurance reform, a majority of the public believes all Americans have a right to health care regardless of their ability to pay,” the authors wrote. “However, the public is split on whether it is the federal government’s role to solve these problems.”

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