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Voters say healthcare not a deciding factor


Pharmaceutical Representative

Healthcare was not the determining issue during last November's presidential election, but healthcare issues were on the minds of the voters.

Healthcare was not the determining issue during last November's presidential election, but healthcare issues were on the minds of the voters, according to a bipartisan post-election survey conducted by the Washington-based Health Insurance Association of America.

"Despite the predominance of other issues, many voters consider healthcare and prescription drug costs to be a problem facing the country today," observed HIAA President Chip Kahn. "Clearly, costs matter - and will continue to matter - regardless of who wins the White House and who controls Congress."

According to the HIAA's survey, which was conducted through phone interviews with 800 election day voters, healthcare and prescription drug costs combined to rank fourth behind the following issues: a decline in moral values (11%), social security/aid to the elderly (9%) and quality of education (8%). Taken together, healthcare and prescription drug costs were considered the most important issue facing the country among 7% of voters.

More results

Other key findings of the HIAA's survey include:

•Â When asked which one or two issues were most important when voting for president (aside from character or other personal issues), 11% of voters chose healthcare. Issues ranking higher than healthcare were social security (24%), education (23%), abortion (16%), taxes (13%) and the economy (12%).

•Â When asked to choose among five goals that could be followed to change our healthcare system, voters chose as their leading goal providing basic health insurance coverage to all Americans (30%), followed by making healthcare more affordable (29%).

•Â During the last two or three weeks of the 2000 campaign, 48% of voters remembered candidates running for Congress talking about - or sponsoring commercials about - HMO reform.

•Â Forty-one percent of voters polled after the election believed that Governor Bush had an HMO plan; 52% believed that Vice President Gore had an HMO plan.

•Â Forty-one percent of voters indicated voting for Governor Bush, and 41% of voters indicated voting for Vice President Gore. Meanwhile, 50% of voters indicated that they decided on their presidential candidate before September, while 9% decided during the last few days before the election, and 8% during Election Day.

Finally, while the private sector's handling of the healthcare system is met with less than universal acclaim, it is perceived to be considerably better than the federal government's. According to the HIAA's poll, 32% of voters believe that the private sector is doing, or would do, an excellent or very good job of running the healthcare system, while 18% believe the same of the federal government. PR

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