Voters Believe They Hold Power in Health Care Reform Debate

Apr 30, 2008, 01:00 ET from Catholic Health Association of the United States

    WASHINGTON, April 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The most effective way
 to get politicians to act on health care reform is for citizens to make
 their voices heard, according to voters surveyed in an opinion poll
 commissioned by the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA).
     Asked which would be the most effective way to prompt action by
 politicians, 41 percent of likely voters said citizens demanding health
 care reform would best get the job done. Twenty-two percent said it would
 take diverse interest groups building consensus, 19 percent said it would
 take politicians proposing and implementing solutions and 9 percent said
 reform would result from business leaders lobbying for change.
     Voters also overwhelmingly reported that they are paying attention to
 the presidential candidates' positions on health care and that those
 positions would affect their vote in the fall.
     With concerns about jobs and the economy growing, voters still ranked
 health care as the second most important priority for the next Congress and
 President to address. In a related finding, a plurality of voters said that
 they believe health care reform would have a positive effect on the
 economy: 44 percent of survey respondents said that if the federal
 government were successful in making quality health care available to
 everyone, it would strengthen the economy (25 percent said it would weaken
 the economy and 24 percent said it would have little effect).
     "Our research shows that the voting public wants to participate in a
 national discussion on health care and expects its views and concerns to be
 heard," said Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, the association's president and chief
 executive officer. "The vast majority of American voters -- 85 percent --
 believe that health care is a matter of human dignity and should be
 available to all for moral and ethical reasons. During Cover The Uninsured
 Week, CHA and Catholic hospitals around the country are calling on our
 leaders to listen closely to the American public -- and to take action."
     CHA recently released its Vision for U.S. Health Care, which outlines
 values and principles for a reformed system. The document is available
 online at
     "Catholic health care providers have always been leaders in Cover The
 Uninsured Week -- and throughout the year," said Jeff Tieman, CHA's senior
 director, health reform initiatives. "These opinion survey results show
 that their message is helping to engage the American public on this
 critical issue."
     The opinion survey included responses from 800 likely voters
 nationwide, reached by telephone March 31-April 2, 2008, and has a margin
 of error of plus or minus 3.46 percent. The survey was conducted on behalf
 of the Catholic Health Association of the United States by Public Opinion
 Strategies of Alexandria, VA.
     The Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), founded in
 1915, supports the Catholic health ministry's pursuit of the strategic
 directions of mission, ethics, and advocacy. As the nation's largest group
 of not-for-profit sponsors, systems, and facilities, the ministry is
 committed to improving the health status of communities and creating
 quality and compassionate health care that works for everyone. For more
 information, visit the CHA website at

SOURCE Catholic Health Association of the United States