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Latest on the Health Care Surveys



Gallup
Gallup/USA Today released a new survey that should be very sobering to Congressional Democrats. It finds that a near majority (49%) of the public think the costs of their own health care will get worse if any of the current bills are passed, while fewer than half that number (22%) think it will get better.

Not only do most people think their costs will go up, but they also believe that the quality of care will go down (39% to 19%), that their own health care coverage will get worse (37% to 20%).  As a consequence, a mere 25% of the population supports enacting the current legislation, compared to 36% opposed and 39% undecided.

Gallup tries its best to spin these results by saying that “less than a majority” oppose the legislation. The survey, by the way, was of “all adults,” not of “likely voters” as in the Rasmussen surveys. The “likely voter” surveys are typically even more negative than this, and that is what politicians focus on.

SOURCE:
Gallup
New York Times write-up


Rasmussen
Rasmussen reports that 49% of likely voters think “doing nothing” is better than passing any of the current bills, while 39% disagree. Interestingly, of “unaffiliated” voters (neither Republican nor Democrat), a whopping 62% say it would be better to do nothing.

SOURCE:
Rasmussen

Galen Institute
The Galen Institute also released a new survey this week. It found that 71% oppose a mandate on individuals to buy insurance, even with a penalty of only $750 a year. It also found that 68% oppose reducing Medicare benefits to pay for health reform, 58% oppose taxing the middle class to pay for health reforms, and 71% are concerned that their current coverage would change under the reforms before Congress.

SOURCE:
Galen Institute

Kaiser Family Foundation
Oddly counter to all this is a monthly tracking survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation that reports 55% of the public “want health reform now,” and 53% think, “the country will be better off with reform.”  Yet digging deeper into the survey results shows a more nuanced picture. When asked what Congress should do, only 49% say continue to work on passing it, 22% say they should focus on something more limited, and 26% say they should save it for some other time. So, people are split 49% to 48% on passing the current proposals. Curious that KFF didn’t highlight that.

The survey also finds public opinion changes dramatically depending on the caveats. Initially people support an individual mandate by 66% to 31%, but when told some people would have to buy coverage they find too expensive, 73% of supporters switch to opposition. Similarly, when told insurers could still deny coverage to the sick without a mandate 71% of opponents switch to supporters of the mandate.

The press release announcing the survey also says, “About half of the public believes that if reform passes, help for the uninsured and changes in insurance market rules would arrive within the first year, years ahead of the timetables contemplated in the legislation. Roughly half (49%) of Americans think that if reform passes, the uninsured will start getting financial help within the next year. In reality, such help generally would not arrive until 2013. Similarly, 51 percent of the public thinks that, should reform pass, health insurance companies would have to begin accepting customers with pre-existing health problems within the next year, a timetable not envisioned under any of the leading reform bills.”  So a lot of folks may be in for a rude awakening.

SOURCE:
Kaiser Family Foundation
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October 24, 2009 - Posted by | healthcare | , ,

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