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Dr. Kim Mulvihill ReportingNew research reveals the issues of health care is not likely to play a decisive role in the upcoming presidential election.
President Bush: “I’ve met many workers and small business owners who tell me they are worried that they cannot afford health care. More than half of the uninsured are small business employers and their families. In a new term we must allow small firms to join together to purchase insurance at the discounts available to big companies.”
Sen. John Kerry, (D) Presidential Nominee: “When MaryAnn Knowles, a woman with breast cancer, had to keep working day after day through her chemotherapy, no matter how sick she was, because she was terrified of losing her family’s health insurance. American can do better and help is on the way.”
Insurance premiums jumped more than eleven percent last year. Fewer employers are offering health insurance to their workers. The number of uninsured Americans now stands at forty five million.
And the uninsured are costing hospitals and doctors big money: in California, 635 million dollars in un-reimbursed care.
Many believed health care would be a major election issue, but researchers at Harvard and the Kaiser family found a different story. They studied data from twenty-two national public opinion surveys and found health care ranks fourth for voters - after the economy, war in Iraq and the campaign against terrorism.
And when it comes to health care issues, the pocketbook issues counted. The uninsured counted much less.
However, realize while voters are dissatisfied with health care, they are not as dissatisfied as they were in 1992.
One final note: in our exclusive Eyewitness news poll, we wanted to see how people in the bay area felt. Just like the national surveys, survey USA found health care ranked fourth among Bay Area residents. When it came to addressing specific health care issues, pocketbook costs still ranked number one, but the uninsured ranked second.