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Americans have a low opinion of the health-care system. In a
2001 Kaiser/Harvard poll, only oil companies rated worse in terms
of how various industries served their customers. Fifty-two percent
said oil companies did a bad job, versus 46 percent who said the
same of HMOs and managed-health-care plans. And this was
before the Enron debacle.
Managed health care plays better as a political issue than it
does as a personal one. Consumers seem to have higher opinions of
their own health-care plans than they do of the system as a
Despite insurers' intentions, most people do not believe that
managed health care has made their lives more manageable. In fact,
according to a 2001 Harris Interactive poll, only 32 percent of the
public — down from 42 percent in 1996 — believes that
managed care will make their health plans more responsive to them