Werth Poll

January 2017 Werth Poll, Part 1 of 3: Attitudes About Health Care Fall Along Political Lines

March 3, 2017

Werth Poll_Attitudes in Health Care

With Americans as polarized as at any point in my lifetime, it perhaps was naïve to think we could ask a question about public policy and get answers that break through the current political divide.

Given all the uncertainty about U.S. health care policy, we were curious to know whether Ohioans – no matter who they voted for in November – are optimistic there will be improvements or concerned that the changes will be for the worse.

So, in our January Werth Poll, we asked it in a way we thought would take the politics out of it: “Does the prospect of changes to our national health care policy in the coming year make you hopeful or fearful?”

The survey results show that a plurality – almost 46 percent are hopeful – with 40 percent registering as fearful.

When we drilled down on the results to learn more, we found that the demographics of the respondents who said they were more likely to be hopeful than fearful – men, whites, Republicans – all were demographics that voted for Trump for president. Meanwhile, Democratic-leaning groups, such as women and nonwhites, are more likely to be fearful than hopeful.

Most interesting was the split among age groups. Traditionally, young voters don’t worry too much about health care. But respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 are more fearful (just under 46 percent) than hopeful (almost 42 percent). As for those 60 and older, they’re a little slightly more hopeful (more than 42 percent) than fearful (almost 40 percent).

Why would young people who think they’re going to live forever be more stressed about health care changes than their parents or grandparents? The only explanation we could come up with was a political one: According to Election Day exit polls, most voters 18-29 voted for the Democratic presidential ticket, whereas most of those over 60 voted Republican.

Maybe this divide among voters helps explain why leaders in Washington don’t seem to be making much progress on this issue. If we actually want to improve health care policy, we’re all going to have to stop viewing the issue through a red or blue lens.

Below are the details of the survey.

Ohio Statewide Survey

1/24/17 – 1/28/2017
N=801, +/- 3.46%
General Election Voters
(percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding)

For past results, visit our Werth Poll page at http://www.paulwerth.com/category/werth-poll/

Werth Poll_Jan 2017_Healthcare