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Health Care in Florida: A Study of Current Challenges and the Support for State Reform

Health care reform in Florida is on the forefront of AARP members' minds. Top concerns include quality of care and affordability of health care services and prescription drugs.

AARP's Florida State Office commissioned a mail survey of AARP members to explore their views on health care, their specific concerns about health care-related matters, and their opinions on prospective state reform. Key findings revealed:

  • Florida members believe that Florida's health care system needs to change. Four in ten members say that fundamental changes are needed, and another two in ten say the system needs to be completely rebuilt.
  • Respondents are concerned about the affordability of health care. Three in four members are extremely or very concerned about being able to afford their health insurance, and three in ten members with insurance are not very or not at all confident that they will be able to afford their health care costs in the future.
  • Members believe that all Floridians should have access to health care. Although only eight percent of members are without health care coverage, eighty-seven percent agree that all Florida residents should have access to basic health care. Three in four respondents believe it is extremely or very important for Florida to increase the number of residents who have health insurance.
  • Respondents are concerned about prescription drug costs. Seventy-seven percent are extremely or very concerned about the cost of prescription drugs, and ninety percent feel that it is extremely or very important that the governor and state legislature work to make prescription drugs more affordable.
  • Florida members are becoming more self-directing on issues related to health care safety. About seven in ten respondents had brought a list of their medications to review at doctor appointments, had checked the medications from a pharmacist against doctor prescriptions, and had checked with a doctor or pharmacist about the possible side effects of new medications.

The survey was conducted in November and December, 2007. A random sample of 2,000 AARP members in Florida, and over-samples of 1,200 members ages 50 to 64, 1,500 members likely to be African-American, and 1,500 members likely to be of Hispanic origin were selected from AARP's membership database. Each sample was proportionally stratified by three age segments: 50-59, 60-74, and 75+. Twenty-seven percent of sampled Florida members returned surveys by the cut-off date, providing 1,693 useable surveys for analysis. For more information, contact Terri Guengerich at 202-434-6306.

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