Women Feel Politicians Ignore Their Health Concerns, Kaiser/Lifetime TV Survey Finds
Women generally believe that elected officials, researchers and the media fail to direct adequate attention to women's health care issues, a joint survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Lifetime Television reports. The first Kaiser Family Foundation/Lifetime Television Vital Signs Index found that 70% of women said elected officials do not sufficiently address women's health issues; 44% said the same of the media; and 62% said that medical research has failed to appropriately examine health issues specific to women. Thirty-six percent of women believed medical research "overlooked women's health concerns" because the politicians responsible for allotting research spending are primarily male, and 32% said that "today's society" does not value women's health as highly as it does men's health. The survey further found that women consider expanding coverage for the uninsured, reinforcing the financial stability of Medicare and providing prescription drug coverage for the elderly to be the three most urgent health care issues facing the government. The Kaiser/Lifetime Television Vital Signs Index is the product of a joint venture between the Kaiser Family Foundation and Lifetime Television that targets "critical health issues affecting women and their families," and will include monthly national opinion polls of women covering a range of topics, including patients' rights, reproductive health, elder care and domestic violence. The first survey will be available on the Lifetime Online Web site (www.lifetimetv.com) on Nov. 15, and the network intends to highlight survey findings in a series of 40, three- to six-minute segments on the "Lifetime Live" program, which airs Monday-Friday at noon (Kaiser/Lifetime release, 11/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.