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Colorado Health Care: A Study of Voter Concerns and the Support for State Reform

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According to the Colorado Blue Ribbon Commission for Health Care Reform, both the uninsured rate in the state, as well as the overall cost of health insurance, has steadily increased over the past five years, raising concern among both policymakers and registered voters.

AARP’s Colorado State Office commissioned this survey of 809 self-identified registered voters age 18+ on the current state of health care in Colorado. Overall results indicate overwhelming support for statewide health care reform, specifically in the area of cost controls. Specific results include the following:

  • Sixty-two percent of respondents believe that health care in Colorado is in a state of crisis or has major problems.
  • The majority are extremely or very concerned with matters of health care costs, including having to pay more for their current care (57%), having adequate coverage at an affordable cost (56%), and not being able to pay for the costs associated with a major illness or injury (54%).
  • Nine in ten respondents disagree with health insurance companies being allowed to deny health care coverage to an older person.
  • Eighty-five percent of those surveyed agree that all state residents should have access to affordable, quality health care. Three in five claim that they would be more likely to vote for a candidate for state office if they were to support the development of a health care system that would provide such access to all residents.
  • Nearly four in five respondents (78%) agree that employers should contribute to a system so that everyone in the state can have access to quality, affordable health care coverage.
  • Nearly seven in ten respondents strongly or somewhat support increases in sales taxes on both cigarettes and alcohol, if the money generated from such proposals is used to help ensure that all state residents have access to quality, affordable health care coverage.
  • Half of those polled are extremely or very likely to vote for an extension of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) temporary suspension beyond 2010, which allows Colorado to keep an estimated $3.7B that would otherwise be returned to taxpayers and use these funds for statewide programs including health care. Another 23 percent are somewhat likely to vote for this extension.

AARP commissioned this telephone survey of 809 Colorado residents age 18 and older who identified themselves as registered voters. The interviews were conducted by FGI Research, Inc. between December 19, 2007, and January 18, 2008. For more information, contact Joanne Binette at 202-434-6303. (26 pages)

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