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CR Poll: 66% support a public healthcare plan

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Consumer Reports Poll: Two-Thirds of Americans Support a Public Healthcare Plan

Washington DC—A new poll released today by Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, shows that 66 percent of Americans support having the option of a public health insurance plan as part of healthcare reform. This public plan would give everyone – insured and uninsured – the option of a plan that is more affordable, with no preexisting conditions, has a consistent menu of benefits, and is always available. A clear majority across all demographic sectors supported creating a public plan. The new poll was released today on Capitol Hill by Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and other ranking Senators.
“This new poll confirms what has been on the minds of many Americans for years—people are sick of our broken healthcare system that is too expensive and doesn’t cover everybody,” said Jim Guest, president of Consumers Union. “This is the year to change our system and create a fair marketplace, including the option of a public plan, where people can have affordable and quality healthcare choices.”
The survey was conducted among 2,009 adults 18 years and older April 2-6, 2009. The sampling error is +/-2.2 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.
The full poll is available online at:http://www.consumersunion.org/pdf/health-reform-poll-2009.pdf
Dissatisfaction with current healthcare system:
The new data sheds light on the number of Americans who are dissatisfied with the current healthcare system:
• The new data shows that 71 percent of Americans support or strongly support healthcare reform to ensure that everybody has access to affordable, quality healthcare.
• Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) expressed major or moderate concern about the ability to afford doctor visits in the future.
• Sixty percent of Americans said they had a major or moderate concern about the possibility of bankruptcy because of a medical concern.
Covering the uninsured:
Americans recognize that we are already paying for care, but in the most inefficient and expensive ways. Seven in 10 respondents completely agreed or agreed that if provided with health insurance:
• Newly insured Americans would go to a doctor or clinic for routine treatment rather than the emergency room (71 percent)
• Newly insured Americans would receive early treatment and prevent minor problems from escalating into major ones (70 percent)
• Newly insured Americans would receive regular treatment and become healthier (69 percent)
The results were conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, which used a nationally representative probability sample of telephone households.

Media Contacts:
David Butler, 202-462-6262
Kristina Edmunson, 202-462-6262
Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, is an independent, nonprofit testing and information organization serving the consumer. We are a comprehensive source of unbiased advice about products and services, personal finance, health, nutrition, and other consumer concerns. Since 1936, our mission has been to test products, inform the public, and protect consumers