October 29 2009

IWF in the News: New Poll Says Women Don't Want to Switch on Healthcare

A new poll was released yesterday by the Independent Women's Forum (IWF) revealing that -- 54% of women would not consider trading in their coverage for a public plan.

The poll by Kellyanne Conway's WomenTrend, a division of the polling company, was commissioned to get a better understanding of women's attitude towards healthcare and healthcare reform. IWF surveyed 800 (registered to vote) women nationwide from October 19-25, 2009.

This poll really reaches out to the "nation's women who account for two out of every three healthcare dollars spent, 80% of whom see a doctor on a regular basis annually, and 56% who take a prescription medication. Women really are the chief healthcare officers of their households and for their extended families," said Conway in a conference call to discuss the polls findings.

Women overall are happy with the healthcare programs they are in now. Seventy-five percent want few to no changes to their own healthcare, 40% want it to "be modified, but mostly left as is and 35% to "be left as-is". Nineteen percent want it to undergo dramatic overhaul.

Only 16% said healthcare should be top issue for Congress to address; but 53% believe it should be in the top three.

IWF and Conway asked the women about their feelings toward a public option but were concerned that some may not know exactly what the "public option" means.

"To really put it to these women in a very specific and personal way we asked them if they have will they would be to trade in their current coverage for a public plan," said Conway.

"This a very different question than what's been asked -- ‘do you support or oppose the public plan or public option or even government run healthcare' -- I find those polling questions to be advisory but incomplete because they presume that everyone knows what a public option is and if all of us having been paying attention in the past few days in the Senate we are not sure that all of our elected officials are sure what the public option includes and excludes."

56% disagree and 36% agree that "women like me would be best served by a
Government -- - run healthcare plan." 57% disagree and 34% agree that "a federally run healthcare program is what is best for my family and me."

58% disagree and 29% agree that "more federal involvement in healthcare will improve the relationships members of my family have with their doctors."

Interestingly 66% of the women polled said that "when they think about healthcare reform, they consider it mostly for other people who might need it while 10% said they reflect upon it mainly about themselves."

In looking at 2010 73% would be less likely to support a "candidate for Congress knowing he or she favored moving people from their private healthcare plans to government -- run healthcare plans."

Forty percent of women polled identified themselves as a Democrat, 32% Republican, and 22% Independent. A full report of the poll findings can be found here.

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