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Monday, October 29, 2012

No matter who wins presidential race, voters pessimistic on health care’s future

By Editorial Staff

October 29, 2012

It may not be exactly an October surprise, but it appears the public has low expectations for the future of the American health care, regardless of who sits in the Oval Office after inauguration day. Though many views fall along voters’ party lines, a new survey form TeleVox indicates that neither Republicans nor Democrats are filled with optimism when it comes to health care reform.

The survey, out this month, was conducted by Kelton Research and TeleVox, which reports that 78% of respondents believe the country’s health care system will stay the same or worsen if the White House changes hands. Meanwhile some 72% also believe it will stay the same or worsen if it doesn’t.

Not all of the dismal views are bipartisan. Eighty-seven percent of Democrats think a change in leadership will cause the nation’s health issues to worsen, according to the survey; 93% of Republicans think problems will grow if the Democrats remain in power.

Only 9% of Republicans believe four more years will bring the costs of preventive care down, versus 27% of Democrats. Some 24% of Democrats and 64% of Republicans think reelection will bring these costs up, TeleVox reports. Two-fifths of respondents think preventive costs will rise no matter who carries the day on Nov. 6.

One good thing both sides agree on about preventive care: it matters. More than 95% across the board say preventive medicine is important, with 93% agreeing with statement “it’s less expensive to prevent a serious condition or disease than it is to treat it.” To American voters, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Around 30% of both parties report feeling unknowledgeable about what preventive services their health plan offers. Fifty-seven percent of Republicans and 59% of Democrats tell TeleVox that a doctor recommendation is the No. 1 motivator to take a preventive care measure. Forty percent of Democrats and just one percentage point more of Republicans say cost is the biggest reason they have not utilized preventive care.