NEW YORK, March 25 The historic vote in favor of health reform by the House of Representatives on March 21, is being widely communicated to be either one the most positive for public welfare, or one of the most destructive. Research recently conducted by TNS, the world's largest custom research firm, indicates that public support for current health reform measures is strong; this support is tempered by the public's concerns over the implementation of programs specified in the law.
According to the survey, 75% of those surveyed are concerned with the projected rise in health care costs, "It is not surprising that economic concerns are of the highest priority right now as businesses are looking to shift more of the burden of employee health benefits to their employees," says William Bruno, Vice President and head of TNS' insurance practice. "Furthermore, the higher healthcare price one is to see through his/her deductibles is a second blow consumers will need to manage." Other areas of concern the survey went on to identify dealt with the future availability of healthcare coverage (64%) and the issue of pre-existing conditions and the access to healthcare coverage (61%).
When asked what drove support for reform, respondents identified the need to help control rising health insurance premiums (79%) as well fraudulent abuse of the healthcare system and unsupported legal claims (84%). Most surprising, over 90% of those 60+ are in favor of a program that addresses that latter issue. "The public is looking for tort reform and a system to prevent abuse as part of the program to stem rising health insurance premiums," says Bruno. "It is important to remember that the support we are seeing for reform cuts across political and demographic lines."
What role the government plays may not be that important
The role the federal government plays in implementing the new health care law is important to respondents. Of those surveyed, only 39% felt the federal government should be acting as both the creator and implementer of the new healthcare programs. Not surprisingly, the potential for increased taxes (64%) and the potential increase in health premiums (57%) were identified as major concerns among respondents.
"The new law is expected to improve access to care, but we are still yet unclear as to how it will comprehensively decrease the overall cost of care," commented Rob Haley, Senior Advisor to TNS on healthcare reform.
"The research shows the public support for health reform is stronger than one might expect, and that concerns over its implementation are significant but not overwhelming," says Bruno. "The benefits are expected to exceed the potential side effects - with careful management."
The survey was conducted using TNS' Express Online Omnibus and was conducted from March 11 through March 15, 2010.
TNS, who recently merged with Research International, is the world's largest custom research agency delivering actionable insights and research-based business advice to its clients so they can make more effective business decisions. TNS offers comprehensive industry knowledge within the Consumer, Technology, Finance, Automotive and Political & Social sectors, supported by a unique product offering that stretches across the entire range of marketing and business issues, specializing in product development & innovation, brand & communication, stakeholder management, retail & shopper, and qualitative research. Delivering best-in-class service across more than 75 countries, TNS is part of Kantar, the world's largest research, insight and consultancy network. Please visit www.tns-global.com for more information.
The Kantar Group
The Kantar Group is one of the world's largest research, insight and consultancy networks. By uniting the diverse talents of more than 20 specialist companies - including the recently-acquired TNS - the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider of compelling and actionable insights for the global business community. Its 26,500 employees work across 80 countries and across the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to offer clients business insights at each and every point of the consumer cycle. The group's services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies. The Kantar Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WPP Group plc. For further information, please visit www.kantargrouptns.com.