Saturday, October 27, 2012

Understanding Two Economic and Political Realities of Health Reform in the 2012 Election as Revealed by 37 Independent Telephone Polls
The end of understanding is not to prove and find reasons, but to know and believe.
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Characteristics
October 27, 2012 – An article in the October 25 New England Journal of Medicine “Understanding Health Care in the 2012 Election”  reveals two economic and political realities of the 2012 election in   a project supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation consisting of 37 independent telephone polls  conducted among both land-line and cell-phone respondents.
Reality #1 -  Health reform is important but it is dwarfed  by economic issues: 81% of respondents indicate health care is an important issue, but 51% choose the economy and jobs as as their top issue, compared to 20% for health reform.
The most important issues for voters by percentage of respondents are:
Rank #1 – Economy and jobs, 51%
Rank #2 – Health care and Medicare, 20%
Rank #3 – Federal budget deficit and taxes, 14%
Rank #4 – Abortion, 4%
Rank #5 – War in  Afghanistan, 2%, and Immigration, 2%
Reality #2 – Respondents favor current government programs of Medicare and Medicaid but this favoritism is unlikely to influence their vote.
Candidate’s position,  1. More likely to vote for this candidate,  2. Less likely to vote for this candidate, 3. no position.
·        Supports repealing all or parts of national health  care law passed in 2010, 14%, 41%, 45%.

·        Supports changing  Medicare so that people 64 years of age or older receive a payment or credit from the government each year for a fiexed amount that they can use to shop for their private health insurance plan or purchase Medicare coverage,  11%, 39%, 50%. 

·        Supports changing Medicaid, the health insurance program for low-income Amerians, from the current system to one in which the federal government gives states a fixed amount  of money and each state decides whom to cover and what services to pay for. 8%, 35%, 57%.

Source:  Robert J. Blendon, John M. Benson, and Amanda Brule, from Harvard School of Public Health and John F. Kennedy School of Government,  "Understanding Health Care in 2012 Election," New England Journal of Medicine,  October 25, 2012.
Tweet:  Most voters favor current government policies on Medicare and Medicaid but economic issues are more likely to influence for whom they vote.

1 comment:

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