Women Have Concerns About Health Care Reform

A recent study conducted on behalf of The Independent Women’s Forum disclosed that health care was one of many economic concerns for American women. Only 16 percent said it was the top issue facing Congress and just over half the respondents placed health care among the leading three. Yet the people in Washington have placed this issue ahead of everyday living expenses, energy costs, unemployment and other financial problems.

It’s interesting that two-thirds of those surveyed think reform is more for other people than themselves. They would prefer not being included in any proposed changes (54%). This was confirmed when 57 percent of respondents indicated they do not feel a government-run plan is best for their needs. And, a whopping 75 percent want few to no changes to their own health care program. Less than 10 percent of respondents are looking for action in the next few weeks with most wishing for a quality bill rather than one with artificial deadlines.

The price tag of health care reform has major political implications. A cost of $829 billion over the next 10 years was deemed to too high by a plurality of women and 55 percent believe this figure is underestimated compared to what will actually be spent. Therefore, 45 percent would be less likely to vote for a candidate supporting this amount or more; and 67 percent would not vote for someone in favor of moving people from private to government-run health care.

When asked to describe the quality of their health insurance, 66 percent claimed it was “good” to “excellent,” and 74 percent used the same terms to describe the quality of their health care. They are satisfied with what they have and are against anyone who might disturb this situation by a margin of more than two to one.

Women said the government spends money inefficiently (77%). About 48 percent look to the insurance companies to lower costs while ensuring quality health care. And 61 percent believe the private sector does a better job of providing choice.

More than half the women think the quality of care will get worse for their families and themselves if the government becomes responsible for the administration of health care for all Americans. By a margin of four to one, it was believed government involvement would result in a decrease in the number of doctors practicing medicine.

In spite of the concerns about costs and coverage, 67 percent of women agreed “everyone should sacrifice a little in order to make health care available to all.” Younger women and pre-boomer and older were in greatest agreement. This may be because they have less taxable income compared to those in the mid-range age groups.