Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Election 2008 – June 2008
The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Election 2008 poll finds that the recent economic downturn continues to create serious financial problems for most Americans. When asked about the impact of recent economic changes, nearly six in 10 adults (59 percent) report having a “serious problem” with one of seven major financial issues, including one in four who cite paying for health care as a serious problem.
Not surprisingly, with gas prices topping $4 per gallon nationally, people are most likely to cite paying for gas as a serious problem (43 percent), followed by getting a well-paying job or a raise (27 percent) and paying for health care costs (25 percent). Other problems rank lower: paying for food (19 percent), dealing with credit card or other personal debt (16 percent), losing money in the stock market (15 percent) and paying their rent or mortgage (14 percent).
In thinking about health care costs, voters are more troubled by their personal costs than by national health spending. Nearly half say they are most worried about increases in what the average American pays out-of-pocket for health care and for insurance. In comparison, two in 10 say they are most concerned about increases in how much the U.S. as a whole spends on health care. Smaller shares cite increases in spending on public health insurance programs or increases in what employers pay for their workers’ health insurance.
The June poll — the eighth in a series designed and analyzed by the Foundation’s public opinion research team — also probes early public opinion about some potential elements of health reform.