Summary of Findings
Survey of American Adults
Regarding Universal Health Care Coverage
November 1, 2, 4 and 5, 2006
This national survey shows that providing access to affordable health care is the top domestic priority for American adults. Respondents say that federal and state legislatures should do more to address the issue, and give strong support to a number of tested ideas to help provide coverage to uninsured Americans. They also prefer changes to the current health care system, rather than a system run solely by the federal government, by more than a two-to-one margin.
Key findings from the survey of 1,034 adults, conducted November 1, 2, 4 and 5, 2006, with a margin of error of ±3.05 percent are:
- Providing access to affordable health care is the top domestic priority. Thirty-one percent of American adults say this is the top domestic priority of those tested, while 17 percent choose improving education, 15 percent choose combating illegal immigration, and 10 percent choose fighting crime and drugs.
- More than four-fifths of adults say a lack of health insurance coverage is a very important problem in America. Eighty-four percent of respondents say this is a very important problem, while 11 percent say it is somewhat important and just 4 percent say it is not too important.
- Even when references to cutting the federal deficit and other problems are mentioned, four-fifths of adults say Congress and state legislatures should do more to provide health insurance coverage to the uninsured. When asked if Congress and the state legislatures should do more, less, or about the same to provide health insurance coverage, while “[r]ecognizing the importance of many other problems as well as efforts to cut the federal budget deficit,” adults say legislatures should do more rather than less by an 80 to 5 percent margin, with 9 percent saying they should do the same. By party identification, 66 percent of Republicans join 81 percent of independents and 90 percent of Democrats in saying the legislatures should do more on this issue.
- Large majorities support each tested idea to provide health care coverage for the uninsured. Support for tested ideas range from two-thirds to over four-fifths as seen below:
- When asked if they prefer to “improve our health care system by building on the current system of shared responsibility between the federal government and the private sector, or by replacing the current system with a new system that is run entirely by the federal government,” more than three-fifths of adults choose building on the current system. Adults prefer building on the current system to replacing it with one run by the federal government by a 63 to 24 percent margin. Self-identified Democrats prefer building on the current system by a 58 to 31 percent margin, with independents agreeing by a 62 to 24 percent margin, and Republicans agreeing by a 74 to 16 percent margin.
The survey of 1,034 adults, conducted by Glover Park Group and Ayres, McHenry and Associates for AHIP, was conducted November 1, 2, 4 and 5, 2006. Respondents were selected randomly through random-digit dialing, and all respondents confirmed that they are at least 18 years of age. The margin of error for responses with an even split – 50 percent for one response and 50 percent for another response – is plus or minus 3.05 percent. The margin of error is smaller when one response receives a higher level of support. For example, the margin of error is plus or minus 2.64 percent when 75 percent of respondents choose one response and 25 percent choose another response.