SAFETY NET HOSPITALS: Poll Shows Broad Public Support
The California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH) is calling on state lawmakers to "renew their commitment to support the state's public hospitals and health systems." The request follows the release of a report showing voters' "overwhelming support" for the safety net hospitals, which provide health care to low-income and uninsured patients. The "first ever poll" to explore the public attitudes toward open door providers -- the term for safety net hospitals in California -- was conducted in May 1999 by Washington, DC-based Lake, Snell, Perry & Associates and published in the Sept. 13 issue of Health Affairs. The findings show that:
- 96% of all respondents feel the existence of safety net hospitals and clinics is important.
- 86% support the use of tax dollars for funding the hospitals.
- 61% said they would personally contribute to support the hospitals.
- 40% indicate that it is more difficult to see a doctor today than in the past.
- 11% of respondents were uninsured and more than half said access to health care is harder compared to five years ago.
- 33% of insured respondents said access had gotten worse.
- 50% of all respondents had gone without insurance at some point.
- 33% of currently insured respondents believe that either they or a family member could go without insurance in the next five years.