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The State of Health Care in Montana: A Survey of Self-Identified Registered Voters Age 18+

Health care reform in Montana is in the forefront of many residents’ minds, according to a November-December 2007 survey of registered voters in the state age 18 and older. Concerns related to affordability of health care services, both currently and in the future, dominate the issue. Respondents are also concerned about the number of uninsured citizens and believe it is important to develop affordable, comprehensive health care for everyone.

Key findings include the following:

  • Montana registered voters age 18+ in this survey believe that the Montana health care system needs improvement. Montana’s health care system is in either a state of crisis or has major problems, according to 62 percent of those polled.
  • Rising health care costs are of concern to Montana registered voters surveyed. More than eight in ten respondents experienced increases in out-of-pocket costs for health care over the past five years such that 60 percent indicate that it is a problem to afford their health care needs.
  • Cost for services does affect willingness to seek treatment. One in six respondents (17%) say there has been a time in the last 12 months when they needed to see a doctor or seek health care but they did not because they could not afford it. A similar number (15%) have not filled a prescription in the last 12 months because they could not afford it.
  • Montana voters look to the Governor and the State Legislature to ensure affordable, quality health care coverage. According to 85 percent of the registered voters polled, all Montanans should have access to quality, affordable health care coverage, and 74 percent believe that it is extremely or very important that this be a priority for their state government.

AARP Montana commissioned Woelfel Research, Inc. to conduct this telephone survey of 801 self-identified registered voters in Montana age 18 and older. The survey was conducted November 19th-December 3rd, 2007. Further information about the survey may be obtained by contacting Joanne Binette of AARP Knowledge Management at 202-434-6303.

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