Healthcare outranks Iraq and terrorism as a top issue for voters in the 2008 presidential elections, according to a survey for the American Hospital Association.
Forty percent of the respondents said they wanted presidential candidates to address healthcare, followed by Iraq (32%), illegal immigration (13%), the economy (13%) and terrorism/security issues (10%). The survey was conducted by national polling firms Public Opinion Strategies and Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner on behalf of the AHA. Voters were polled in the early primary states of Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Nearly nine out of 10 voters polled favored a set of changes to the health system that would address healthcare costs and coverage. In addition to universal health insurance, preventive care and wellness programs, voters supported specific changes such as using more information technology to increase patient safety, lower costs and reduce paperwork so that providers could spend more time with patients.
Specifically, 55% of voters would support an increase in federal funding for hospitals, said Richard Pollack, AHAs executive vice president, during a teleconference to release the findings. The poll interviewed 600 likely general election voters for 2008, plus 400 likely Republican primary voters/caucus-goers and 400 likely Democratic primary voters/caucus-goers. -- by Jennifer Lubell
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