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Results From a North Carolina Poll on Key Health Care Issues

In a recent poll sponsored by the North Carolina Dental Society, North Carolina residents were asked several questions about there opinions on key health care issues. Public Policy Polling interviewed 508 people statewide March 5-7 for the survey, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.35 percentage points. The results were revealed during the “What the Health: Can We Survive Our Healthcare System?” forum, sponsored by talk show NC SPIN. The results of the poll showed the following trends:

On rising health care costs:

  • 31 percent of respondents said insurance costs were the driving force behind rising health care costs
  • 28 percent blamed higher doctor and hospital charges
  • 14 percent put the onus on people’s poor lifestyle choices
  • 8 percent pointed the finger at prescription drug costs.

On lifestyle issues:

  • more than a quarter of those surveyed said people’s lack of knowledge on how to take better care of themselves leads to chronic problems like diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Other respondents were fairly evenly split among people not knowing the true cost of health care, being too lazy to practice self-care or not having to pay for their own care as reasons for not leading healthier lifestyles
  • 27 percent said they would change if they knew their health costs would be lower
  • 16 percent said it would take punitive measures, like higher health costs to force a lifestyle change
  • 44 percent of respondents said they thought people would improve their lifestyles if they knew they would feel better and live longer

On end-of-life care:

  • more than a third of respondents said people just don’t get around to giving their families directions on how to handle those medical decisions
  • 28 percent said they don’t know enough to make such plans
  • 16 percent admitted they were in denial and didn’t want to think about dying.

On the national Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:

  • 37 percent of those surveyed said they fear government regulation and control of health care as the law takes effect
  • 22 percent said they fear health costs will continue to increase under the reform law
  • 14 percent said they expect the quality of care to drop
  • 9 percent said they fear to have less access to care
  • 43 percent of respondents said they feel the so-called individual mandate is necessary
  • 28 percent said having insurance should be a personal decision
  • 20 percent believe this portion of the reform law is unconstitutional.

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