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Have you, as a consumer, been influenced by the media on health care issues?  

Expert Answers

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Almost all consumers of health care have surely been influenced by the media to some extent on the issue of health care.  This is because much of what we know about health care issues consists of what we hear in the media.

For example, I have been heavily influenced by the media reports that I have read on the issue of health care costs.  It seems clear to me that we need to reduce the amount that health care costs.  It also seems clear to me that we will have to change the incentives that we have built into our system.  We currently have a fee for service system in which doctors have a real financial incentive to order tests and procedures that are not strictly necessary.  Patients feel like they are getting the best of care and doctors can make more money. 

I am only really aware of much of this because of media coverage.  I would have no way of knowing that health care costs are rising if it were not for the media.  I would not be aware that it is possible to have anything other than fee for service if it were not for the media.

Thus, I have been influenced in important ways by media coverage of health care issues.

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