Health care reform: public views of problems and solutions uri icon


  • Public opinion surveys have found growing discontent with the health care system. In response, major reform legislation has been introduced in Washington and in many statehouses as well. Nonetheless, very few, if any, state-level public opinion surveys examining health care have been conducted in the South. During November of 1991, a statewide survey of 1,250 Alabamians was conducted to collect information on a wide range of health care issues. The survey is perhaps the largest and most complete survey on health care issues ever conducted in a southern state. Major findings of the survey are as follows: (1) Two-thirds of Alabamians believe the health care system needs fundamental change or needs to be completely rebuilt; however, there is little consensus on the shape of this new health care system. (2) Over 50 percent of Alabamians believe that rising health care costs are the most important issue facing the country. Yet, only about one-third support managed-care mechanisms as a means of controlling personal health care costs. (3) Four of ten Alabamians believe access to care is a critical health care issue. Nonetheless, only 16 percent are willing to pay more than $100 in additional annual taxes to guarantee health care for everyone. This survey yields a set of conflicting conclusions. Policy makers and elected officials should be aware of these issues as they attempt to forge health care reform legislation.

author list (cited authors)

  • Capiluoto, E., & Morrisey, M. A.

citation count

  • 0