Health care reform in New Mexico is at the forefront of many residents' minds, with concerns related to affordability of health care services dominating the issue. Additionally, according to the United States Current Population Survey, 27 percent of New Mexico adult residents are without health insurance.
AARP New Mexico commissioned this survey to explore the views of New Mexico residents age 50 and older on the current state of health care in New Mexico, their specific concerns about health care-related matters, and their opinions on prospective state reform. This telephone survey finds that:
- Access to health care coverage, including coverage for those currently uninsured, is a priority for New Mexicans. While 14 percent of respondents are uninsured, 89 percent strongly or somewhat agree that all residents should have access to health care coverage. To this end, 71 percent indicate that it is extremely or very important that New Mexico reduce the number of residents without health care coverage and 85 percent believe that it is extremely or very important that individuals are allowed to buy health care coverage regardless of age or health condition.
- New Mexico residents are concerned about affordability and coverage of health care services. Eight in ten respondents indicate that it is extremely or very important that New Mexico make health care coverage more affordable for all residents. Additionally, the most prevalent concerns related to health care are having to pay more for health care (40% extremely or very worried) and not being able to pay for health care in the event of a major illness or injury (37% extremely or very worried).
- New Mexico's residents age 50+ recognize a need for health care reform. More than four in 10 respondents (41%) are strongly or somewhat opposed to maintaining the current health care system in the state. Additionally, between 70 and 80 percent of respondents believe that responsibility for accessible and affordable health care coverage should be shared by employers, workers, individuals, the government, insurance companies, and health care providers.
- Most respondents are concerned about access to and cost of health care services and providers and would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports these issues. Additionally, respondents indicate that affordability and expansion of health care coverage should be priorities of both the Governor and state legislature.
AARP commissioned Alan Newman Research to conduct this telephone survey between October 29 and November 15, 2007, with a random sample of 801 New Mexico residents age 50 and older. For more information, contact Joanne Binette at 202-434-6303. (22 pages)