Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New Health Care Survey

New 2009 AFL-CIO Health Care Survey Will Gauge
Economic Downturn’s Effect on Health Care

Last year’s survey revealed a third of people skipped medical care due to cost

(Washington, DC April 1, 2009) -- Just as the Obama Administration is putting health care reform squarely on the nation’s policy table, the AFL-CIO and its community affiliate Working America today launched a massive online survey to gauge the health care experiences of America’s working families. Last year’s online survey captured one of the largest opinion pools available on health care, with over 26,000 people participating.

The online survey gives working families an opportunity to make their voices heard about what they are experiencing. The results and health care stories from participants will be distributed to health care decision makers around the country.

“This survey gives working men and women a chance to tell their personal experiences and expectations of health care,” said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney. “For too long the insurance and pharmaceutical industry giants have drowned out the voices of ordinary Americans.”

This year’s survey asks:

How has the economic downturn affected your household in the past year?
In the past year, have you or has someone in your household lost health coverage because of losing a job or changing jobs?
Are you able to get the health care you need at a price you can afford?
How much did you and your household spend out of your own pockets for health care in the past year?
If you have insurance, how easy or hard is it to talk to someone at your insurance company about what is covered or coverage decisions?
Last year, 7,500 people of the 26,000 survey respondents took the time to tell individual heart wrenching stories. The survey revealed deep concerns about the costs of health care:

One third of respondents reported skipping medical care because of cost, and a quarter had serious problems paying for the care they needed.
Ninety-five percent said they are somewhat or very concerned about being able to afford health insurance in the coming years.
Ninety-five percent of respondents said America’s health care system needs fundamental change.

With 11 million members, the AFL-CIO is the single largest organization in the nation speaking for working families on the issues central to their lives, including health care reform. AFL-CIO member unions negotiate health care benefits on behalf of some 30 million union household members and retirees across the U.S.

Working America is a community affiliate of the AFL-CIO and an advocate for working people. Working America represents 2.5 million workers, without the benefit of a union on the job, who share common challenges and goals including fighting for quality affordable health care.

The survey is available to the general public. Results will be published in a comprehensive report. Some data and information will be made available to interested reporters as responses come in.


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