PEW CENTER SURVEY: Government Should Ensure Affordable Care
The Pew Research Center for The People & The Press released findings today from a survey of Americans' attitudes toward government. In the area of health care, the survey found that only 18% of Americans believe the government is doing an "excellent or good" job of ensuring that health care is affordable, compared to 45% who ranked the government's performance as "fair" and 35% who said "poor." Forty-five percent said the poor performance was the "government's fault," while 49% attributed it to the issue's difficulty. A majority of respondents (58%) supports government involvement in ensuring access to affordable health care, with 75% saying the government should attach "very high" or "high" priority to the issue. Only 15% of respondents said they believe the government actually gives this issue high priority -- a 60% "priority gap."
Drug Safety And The Elderly
When asked to rate the government's performance on "ensuring safe food and drugs," 58% rated the government's performance as "excellent or good," while 41% said it was "only fair" or "poor." Seventy-three percent of respondents said the government should be primarily responsible for ensuring the safety of food and drugs. Ninety-percent said the government should attach "very high" or "high" priority to this issue, but only 50% said the government actually gives high priority to ensuring safe drugs and food -- a 40% priority gap. Respondents were also asked to rate the government's performance on "providing for the elderly." Only 26% of respondents said the government is doing an "excellent or good" job, while 72% said "only fair" or "poor." Seventy-two percent said the government should give "very high" or "high" priority to "providing the elderly a decent standard of living," but only 17% said the government does indeed attach this importance to the issue -- a 55% priority gap. These findings are based on a survey of 1,762 adults conducted September 25-October 31, 1997; the margin of error for the findings is +/-3%.
Based on findings from a separate survey sample, the Pew Center found that 35% of Americans "strongly favor" efforts to enact a patients' bill of rights for people in managed care plans. Forty-three percent said they "favor" a patients' bill of rights, while only 13% said they "oppose" or "strongly oppose" it. When asked about President Clinton's proposal to allow the near elderly to buy into Medicare, 75% said they "strongly favor" or "favor" the plan, while 23% said they "oppose" or "strongly oppose" it. For these findings, 1,007 adults were surveyed February 19-22, 1997; the survey has a +/-3.5% margin of error (Pew release, 3/10).