Ideology trumps party on healthcare reform

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Political ideology -- conservative or liberal -- trumps being a Republican or Democrat when it comes to healthcare reform, a U.S. researcher says.

Harry Perlstadt, a Michigan State University sociologist, scientifically examined political and ideological beliefs on the issue of health disparities.


Understanding how the public perceives health disparities is important for both Republican and Democratic lawmakers as they shape their plans on healthcare reform, Perlstadt says.

He commissioned a telephone survey with MSU's Institute for Public Policy and Social Research that gathered information on the respondents and asked a series of questions regarding their beliefs about health disparities, such as "How often does a person's race or ethnic background affect whether they can get routine medical care when they need it?"

Perlstadt finds that race, age, sex, income and whether a respondent lived in an urban or rural community all influenced their beliefs on health disparities.

"When I started this, I thought party affiliation would be more important than ideology," Perlstadt says in a statement. "And while party is still important, it takes a backseat to ideology."

The findings were presented at the American Public Health Association's 138th annual meeting in Denver.


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