Consumer Confidence in Health Care Rose Sharply in October, Survey Finds
Americans' confidence in their health insurance coverage and access to health care rose significantly in October amid signs of economic recovery and congressional momentum on healthcare reform, a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation finds.
Based on a monthly survey of five hundred households conducted by the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Care Consumer Confidence Index: November 2009 (19 pages, PDF) found that the measure of Americans' confidence in health care jumped from 96.6 in September to 104.4 in October. The survey results reflect the highest level of confidence among consumers since tracking of the issue began in April 2009.
Fueling the uptick was a significant rise in Americans' confidence in the future of their health care, according to analysis by the University of Minnesota's State Health Access Data Assistance Center. The survey found that 23.3 percent of respondents were worried about losing their health insurance, down from 33.4 percent in September, while 43.4 percent were concerned about being able to afford health care in the future, down from 53.2 percent.
The survey also found that 71.9 percent of Americans believe that healthcare reform would improve or maintain their access to care, while 79.2 percent believe it is important for the Obama administration to include healthcare reform in its plans to address the economic crisis.
"During a month when there was considerable momentum around health reform, including the passage of a reform bill by the Senate Finance Committee, the American public appears to be more confident about the future of their health care," said RWJF president and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey. "Americans of every ideology know that our healthcare system needs to be fixed and want some type of reform."