Kaiser Health Tracking Poll — August 2009
The August Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds a slim majority of Americans continues to favor moving forward on health care reform now despite an intensifying ad war and a political climate of contentious town hall meetings that coincide with rising concerns about the reform effort.
Fifty-three percent of the public believes that tackling health reform is more important than ever, compared to 42 percent who say we cannot afford to take on health care reform right now. The gap between those points of view has narrowed in recent months as criticisms and doubts about reform plans seem to be registering. Sixty-three percent of the public say they are “hopeful” about reform, 41 percent are “afraid” and 46 percent are simply “confused.”
The August poll was conducted during a period in which politically active members of the public vented their fears and hopes about reform plans in fiery and widely-publicized town hall meetings with elected officials, and at a time when an increasing number of Americans (45%, compared to 31% in July) reported seeing advertisements having to do with proposed changes in the health care system.
The August poll, the fifth in a series designed and analyzed by the Foundation’s public opinion survey research team, examines voters’ specific health care issue interests and experiences and perceptions about health care reform.