Divided Ideology

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Graphic showing American's beliefs on the importance of personal health in relationship to the role of the government

Plenty of Americans have experienced tension at Thanksgiving when someone brings up politics. That moment is a microcosm of the healthcare discussion currently happening nationwide. Larry Bye, Alyssa Ghirardelli, and Angela Fontes developed this enlightening datagraphic in their recent article published in Health Affairs.

The x-axis represents personal health importance, measured in their survey as “the amount of effort spent on disease prevention and appropriate seeking of medical care and the degree of self-efficacy in these areas…[and] trust in science and the health care system and of interest in religion and spirituality.” The y-axis measures attitudes pertaining to government involvement in healthcare.

This graph illustrates the current state of U.S. politics. Ideology drives the debate, especially on complex topics poorly understood by the general public. Despite the stark divide on ideology, the majority of people surveyed believe government should play a prominent role in health. If galvanized, this group could be a force for pushing through reform – or blocking it in the case of saving the Affordable Care Act.

Graphic from Health Affairs

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