UNIVERSAL CARE: Top Priority Among Voters, DLC Poll Shows
The top health care concern among American voters is the need for universal coverage, implying that lawmakers are off the mark as they debate managed care and Medicare reform. The Democratic Leadership Council asked 500 registered voters, "when it comes to the current health care system, what do you think is the most important problem for the government to address?" Only 7% said "giving people in (HMOs) certain rights" and 11% chose "securing Medicare." In fact, 29% responded "[i]nsuring everyone," making universal care "even among the top two choices of Republicans." Some 22% of participants cited "containing health care costs" and another 22% said "improving the quality of care and reducing medical errors" as being important. Only 10% said they were "unsatisfied" with their current insurer. Participants from that group cited cost and lack of benefits for vision, dental or prescription drugs as the main reasons. Finally, 64% of respondents said individuals should choose health insurance plans, and not employers. The DLC poll was conducted Dec. 19-20 of last year, and has a +/- 4% margin of error. The results will be officially released at a press conference today. The DLC will also announce its own proposal for providing universal coverage (Koffler, CongressDaily, 3/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.