Survey prioritizes healthcare needs

Nov. 11, 2004 at 12:39 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Rising healthcare costs should be among the top items on the domestic agenda for the new Congress, a poll by Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association found.

Forty percent said the combined issue of healthcare and prescription drug costs should be priorities for the incoming Congress, falling between the No. 1 domestic priorities of the economy and jobs at 41 percent with Social Security and Medicare at 29 percent.

The poll, conducted by Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies and Geoffrey Garin of Peter D. Hart Associates, quizzed 1,000 consumers on Nov. 4, 6 and 7.

Sixty percent said prescription drugs are the leading factor behind skyrocketing healthcare costs, followed by the cost of hospital care (51 percent), medical malpractice insurance and lawsuits (48 percent), and waste, fraud and abuse (44 percent).

Sixty-eight percent said assuring access to health coverage for every American should be a top priority among healthcare issues addressed by the new Congress, followed by making sure people have access to affordable prescription drugs (67 percent), slowing the rise in healthcare costs (63 percent), and cutting fraud and abuse in the healthcare system (56 percent).

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