Survey: less than half Kansas City doctors, hospital execs want changes

Kansas City StarOctober 7, 2009 

Kansas City's medical and business communities appear more resistant to major changes in health care than the public at large.

In a survey to be released today, more than half of the area's health care "insiders" -- doctors, employers, and hospital executives -- said they "agree or strongly agree" with keeping the current health care system in place.

Only one-third of the general public agrees with that alternative, the survey found. Instead, nearly half of those responding -- 47 percent -- said they would like a public health insurance company to compete with private insurers.

Just 8 percent of the insiders agreed or strongly agreed with the public option approach.

"You'd expect that, because it's doctors and hospitals who would get whacked back to Medicare reimbursement rates (with a public option)," said Tom Bowser of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, which commissioned the survey along with the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

Blue Cross also opposes a public option, a position the company repeated in a full-page advertisement in Tuesday's Kansas City Star.

Bowser said the survey’s results would be discussed today as part of a health care summit in Kansas City.

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