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Most Americans Continue to Support Moving Ahead With Health Care Reform Now Despite Town Hall Fights and Ad Campaigns
Date:8/19/2009

CONCERNS HAVE GROWN ABOUT PERCEIVED NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF REFORM, ESPECIALLY AMONG REPUBLICANS AND INDEPENDENTS

SENIORS REPORT THEY ARE CONFUSED ABOUT REFORM

MENLO PARK, Calif., Aug. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A slim majority of Americans continues to favor moving forward on health care reform now despite an intensifying ad war and a political climate of contentious town hall meetings that coincide with rising concerns about the reform effort, according to the August Kaiser Health Tracking Poll.

Fifty-three percent of the public believes that tackling health reform is more important than ever, compared to 42 percent who say we cannot afford to take on health care reform right now. The gap between those points of view has narrowed in recent months as criticisms and doubts about reform plans seem to be registering. Sixty three percent of the public say they are "hopeful" about reform, 41 percent are "afraid" and 46 percent are simply "confused".

The August poll was conducted during a period in which politically active members of the public vented their fears and hopes about reform plans in fiery and widely-publicized town hall meetings with elected officials, and at a time when an increasing number of Americans (45% compared to 31% in July) reported seeing advertisements having to do with proposed changes in the health care system.

"The August health reform wars about hot button issues have definitely made the public more anxious but they have not caused public support to unravel," said Kaiser President and CEO Drew Altman. "When the Congress returns the debate will refocus on core issues such as how to pay for health reform and meet the public's expectations for help with their health insurance problems."

Better Off/Worse Off for Me and the Country

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SOURCE Henry J. Kaiser Foundation
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