Consumers’ Views of Health Care Held Steady in 2009

By Staff Report

Dec. 30, 2009

Consumer confidence in health care remained consistent this year despite the tumultuous debate taking place over health care reform on Capitol Hill, according to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation survey.

An overwhelming majority of respondents, however (nearly 82 percent), believe health reform is crucial to reviving the economy.
After a sharp rise in confidence in October, the foundation’s monthly Health Care Consumer Confidence Index fell in November from 104.4 points to 96.9 points, “returning to a confidence level closer to those seen throughout most of 2009.” Since the index began in April 2009, confidence has averaged 99.2 points, the foundation reported.

Despite monthly fluctuation, “over time people’s concern regarding their ability to access and pay for care has remained consistent. That suggests that Americans’ confidence in the future of their care is more affected by personal concerns than political rhetoric,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

In recapping 2009 results, the index revealed that 26.5 percent of Americans each month worried that they would lose health care coverage and nearly half were concerned that they would not be able to afford future health care needs if they or a family member became seriously ill.

The poll’s results reflected telephone interviews with 508 randomly chosen people and was conducted October 29 to November 23.

Filed by Jennifer Lubell of Modern Healthcare, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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