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Americans lose confidence in health care

By MAGGIE FOX
April 28, 2010

Health care in America: Losing ground (Reuters)

Americans are steadily losing confidence in their ability to get healthcare and pay for it, despite the passage of healthcare reform legislation, according to a survey published on Wednesday.

The Thomson Reuters Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index found that confidence lost three percentage points from a baseline of 100 in December to 97 in March.

“Strikingly, Americans expect the situation to worsen significantly in the next three months,” said Gary Pickens, chief research officer at Thomson Reuters.

“The thing I thought was interesting was … the level of sentiment about future expectations worsened more. The future outlook seems to be causing the people we interviewed angst.”

Thomson Reuters interviews more than 100,000 U.S. households annually via telephone surveys about healthcare behaviors, attitudes and utilization. This particular index is based in a subset of 3,000 people, representative of the nation as a whole, interviewed every month.

The survey, published at http://healthcarescience.thomsonreuters.com/indexes/, finds a steady erosion in confidence.

“I think it may have something to do with the reform legislation,” Pickens said in a telephone interview. “Getting legislation through hasn’t reassured Americans,” he added. “People are being unclear about what it means for them.”

Pickens said his team is now breaking down the survey by age, political affiliation and other factors to try to get more detail on who, precisely, is losing confidence the most.

“What we saw last summer was a big difference by political party,” he said. Republicans strongly opposed healthcare reform.

Pickens predicts older Americans may be among the most worried. “I think I would have angst because of the prospect of significant cost cuts, cutbacks in federal programs including Medicare,” he said.

In February, when the index fell to 98, a statistically significant number of people said they had delayed filling or did not fill a prescription in the past three months and expected to delay or cancel a diagnostic test in the next three months.

In March, more people said they had lost or reduced their health insurance coverage in the past three months or that they expected to delay or cancel an elective surgical procedure.

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2 Responses to Americans lose confidence in health care

  1. Almandine

    April 28, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Maybe it’s the fact that rationed care and death panels have now been shown to be true and not just hyperbole.

    • woody188

      April 29, 2010 at 2:34 pm

      Obama lied again to get his way?

      Most folks are figuring out this health care reform was more about getting money to float our debt another year or two, and not about tending to our health care needs. It’s sinking because people are seeing they won’t see a dime they pay into this system, just like Social Security.

      Same with cap and trade. It’s about generating money for the general fund, not about stopping pollution.

      Without these massive tax increases, our debt levels are unserviceable and unsustainable. Heck, even with these increases, it’s only going to buy us a few more months. Anyone paying attention knows that the financial crisis, “global warming” and the “global war on terror” are the three major pretexts through which the elite will usher in a new system of global governance, what we commonly call the “New World Order.”

      It’s already begun, and why cap and trade is still being promoted even after anthropogenic global warming has been throughly discredited and it’s promoters found to have manipulated the science to reflect their views and excluded dissenting science altogether. Hide the decline indeed.