Poll gauges Bay Area's views on health care

June 17, 2008 7:01:07 PM PDT
ABC7 is proud to be co-sponsoring a town hall meeting on one of the most controversial issues facing our country this election year -- health care. To help focus the debate, organizers at The Council for Excellence in Government also commissioned a poll to gauge how people in the Bay Area feel about our health insurance system in general.

People in the Bay Area seem to have a split personality when it comes to health care. A full three-quarters of us, 75 percent, favor full coverage for all Americans.

"Everyone deserves health insurance. It's just too expensive," says a voter.

But when you get down to who's going to pay, the question gets a bit dicier.

"Depends, there's a lot of caveats in there. Depends on what's going to be the tax rate, what the extent of it is going to be," says a voter.

In fact, our poll found voters were split almost right down the middle when asked if they'd be willing to pay higher taxes to fund some form of national health insurance.

"Half say, 'Wait a minute, can't we pay for it another way by reducing spending in other areas?'" says Patricia McGinnis who runs The Council for Excellence in Government, which commissioned the survey.

So it's a bit of an irony that Tuesday's town hall meeting is being held in San Francisco, the city that recently launched it's own ground breaking program to insure many of its lower income residents. It's a move that backers hope could become a model for the rest of the country.

But the Gallup survey found support for government sponsored health care programs mixed at best, with a significant majority preferring to hold on to what they know.

"They provide a good service and I'm not sure you're going to get same level of service as you see in other countries that you do in the United States," says a voter.

In fact, 60 percent preferred keeping the employer-based model.

"People know that this has to change, but when you get into the specifics of how it's going to change... would you like to move away from employer care? Well, wait a minute, I have to understand what I'm moving to. And that hasn't really been articulated yet," says McGinnis.

More information:

Health care poll results from The Council for Excellence in Government on "The American Public on Health Care: The Missing Perspective."

Press release and summary of key findings


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