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Improving Health Care in Iowa: A Survey of Self-Identified Registered Voters Age 18+

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Most of Iowa's three million residents are insured; in fact, Iowa has the third lowest uninsured rate in the United States. Yet, over 81 percent of uninsured adults are employed and six percent of children are uninsured.

As the legislature grapples with how to achieve affordable and accessible health care coverage, AARP's Iowa State Office commissioned a survey to understand Iowans' perception about their health, examine how they prioritize health care, and consider specific ways to improve and expand access to health care coverage. This March 2008 survey of 800 Iowa residents age 18+, who self-identified as registered voters, finds that:

  • Fifty percent of Iowa registered voters age 18+ in this survey believe that health care in Iowa is in a state of crisis or has major problems.
  • Three-quarters say their out-of-pocket medical expenses, including insurance premiums, prescription drug costs, and co-pays have increased over the past five years.
  • More than 90 percent agree that Iowa residents should have access to affordable, quality health care.
  • Almost nine in ten believe it is important that the Iowa State Legislature work to improve and expand access to affordable, quality health care coverage in 2008 for state residents.
  • Respondents support specific ways to improve and expand access to health care coverage:
    • Offer programs on diet, exercise, and medication management, and incentives such as easier access to medical care to help people with on-going medical conditions effectively manage their conditions (85%)
    • Give primary care doctors electronic access to patient medical records (72%)
    • Require parents to provide affordable, quality health care coverage for their dependent children (67%)

More than half (55%) of respondents are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports a plan that would provide affordable, quality health care for state residents. Government officials need to examine the feasibility of ways to improve and expand access to health care coverage as 73% of respondents are concerned about whether they and their families will have access to quality, affordable health care services when they are needed in the future.

This telephone survey of 800 self-identified registered Iowa voters age 18+ was conducted by Woelfel Research on March 6-9, 2008. For more information, contact Joanne Binette at 202-434-6303. (20 pages)

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