KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

New Poll: American Confidence In Access To Care Is Growing

"Americans are showing more confidence in their ability to get and afford the health care they need, according to a poll released Tuesday,"  The Associated Press reports on The story continues: "Whites, though, are likelier to feel that way than minorities. And large numbers of people are worried about whether they will have future health coverage, with nearly one in four concerned that family medical bills will drive them into bankruptcy."

"The survey, conducted by the nonpartisan Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, showed the public overwhelmingly considers President Barack Obama's drive to overhaul health care a crucial weapon in the battle to end the country's economic problems - one of the rationales he has used in his health care campaign. Eighty-five percent said it is important that Obama make reshaping health care part of his efforts to restore the economy. … Researchers said they were unsure why the measure had ticked up, but said the bump was significant. They suggested it might be due to expectations that Washington will improve the health care system."

"At the same time, 40 percent said they are worried about affording routine health care in the future, though that was down slightly from 46 percent in May. Similar numbers expressed worry about affording future care for serious medical problems or prescriptions." The poll had a margin of  error of +/- 4.4 points (Fram, 7/21).

A new Ipsos/McClatchy online survey found that "patients in Canada are indeed much more frustrated by waiting times to see medical specialists than patients in the United States are, and slightly less happy with the waiting times to see their family doctors," McClatchy Newspapers/The Miami Herald reports.

"However, they're much more likely to say that they have access to all the health care services they need at costs they can afford." The poll found residents in the different countries see things differently. On family doctors, 59 percent of Americans said they could see them quickly while 52 percent of Canadians said the same thing... 65 percent of Canadians said they had access to all the health care services they needed at costs they could afford; 49 percent of Americans felt the same way."

The reporter notes: "The online polls surveyed 1,004 U.S. adults July 9-14 and 1,010 Canadians on June 5-7. They aren't scientific random samples, don't statistically mirror the population and thus have no margin of error. Rather, they resemble large focus groups to help see what people are thinking about a particular issue"  (Thomma, 7/21).

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