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Consumer Reports Poll: Americans Demand Health Reform But Are Unsure About How to Achieve it
Date:2/5/2008

out-of-pocket expenses that are affordable relative to family income; and, the ability of people to keep their current health insurance if they choose.

Health Care Worries Hit Home

The Consumer Reports survey also found that Americans are worried about escalating health costs, regardless of their financial status. Overall, 81 percent of those polled by CR said they're concerned about being able to afford health care in retirement, 68 percent worry about being bankrupted by medical bills following a serious illness or accident, and 65 percent fear losing their job-related health coverage.

Americans Unsure About How A Reformed System Should Work

When asked for their opinion about how a reformed health-care system should work, Americans were considerably more divided in their responses. "Americans are at once passionate about change and divided about how to get there. That could make it extremely challenging for the presidential candidates when it comes to selling their proposals," noted Metcalf.

CR asked consumers for their opinions on four approaches to reform, including those proposed by the leading candidates. Respondents could choose multiple options, so percentages add up to more than 100:

-- The most popular proposal -- a mixed public/private system that would require all uninsured Americans to buy health insurance -- drew support from half of the respondents. Massachusetts is in the midst of implementing that type of system and versions of it have been proposed by the leading Democratic presidential candidates.

-- Thirty-six percent of respondents support public insurance, similar to the Canadian health-care system.

-- One-third of respondents favored a mix of employer-sponsored plans, private health-insurance plans, Medicare, Medicaid, and other public programs, which is the arrangement we have today.

-- Only 26 percent supported the idea of giving tax incentives for individuals
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SOURCE Consumer Reports
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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