The 2008 Health Care in America Survey, sponsored by the AFL-CIO and Working America, reveals tragic flaws in America’s healthcare system, according to AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney.
“Our job in 2008 is to elect a president, Congress and leaders at every level who will work to turn around America,” said Sweeney. “Healthcare costs are out of control. We have an economy that does not work for working families.”
A total of 26,419 people participated in the online survey from Jan. 14-March 3. Most of the respondents are insured and employed. Most are college graduates, and more than half are union members.
Key results of the online survey include:
The demand for change in today’s healthcare system is based primarily on deep concerns about costs:
• One-third of respondents report skipping medical care because of cost, and a quarter had serious problems paying for the care they needed.
• 95 percent say they are somewhat or very concerned about being able to afford health insurance in the coming years.
• Almost half overall (48 percent) and 60 percent of Latinos say they or a family member has stayed in a job to keep healthcare benefits when they would have preferred changing jobs.
• 95 percent of respondents say America’s healthcare system needs fundamental change or to be completely rebuilt.
The failures of America’s healthcare system, the survey reveals, are a significant factor in broader economic problems facing working families today:
• 83 percent of respondents say their families have just enough to get by or are falling behind.
• 84 percent predict the standard of living will be worse for the next generation.
Having insurance coverage is not insulating families from problems, concerns and dissatisfaction with today’s health care system:
• 96 percent of people with insurance say they are somewhat or very concerned about affording coverage in the next few years.
• 71 percent of the insured worry about losing coverage because they may lose or change jobs.
• Almost two-thirds (61 percent) who have employer-provided coverage say their costs have gotten worse.
• 95 percent of people with insurance are dissatisfied with healthcare costs, and 62 percent of them are dissatisfied with healthcare quality.
• 94 percent of the insured say the healthcare system needs fundamental change or to be rebuilt.
Also, more than half of survey takers say their health insurance does not cover all the care they need at a price they can afford. People of color, including 75 percent of African Americans and 76 percent of Latinos, are especially likely to voice dissatisfaction with healthcare quality.