Posted by: brucestein | July 30, 2008

Summertime, and the Living Ain’t Easy

A recent poll conducted by National Public Radio (NPR), the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health has illustrated something that most of us have known all along:  the economy in the United States is suffering.  According to the poll’s findings, half of all Floridians and four in ten Ohioans are experiencing three or more serious problems that they owe to our changing economy. 

 
The cost of health care is a major problem, say many survey respondents, who report having trouble paying their medical bills, often with serious consequences.  Specifically, a quarter of Ohioans and 28 percent of Floridians said that they or someone in their family had problems paying medical bills in the past year.  Fourteen percent of all Ohioans and 17 percent of Floridians say they used up all or most of their savings in the past year to pay medical bills, and about one in ten in each state say they skipped paying other bills and/or borrowed money from relatives.

 
Current events always have an effect on what voters want to hear from the nation’s presidential candidates.  This year’s election is no different…  According to the poll, about 4 in 10 Ohioans would like to hear campaign talk about reducing the cost of health care.  In both states about half of the respondents are hoping a presidential candidate will propose a new health plan that will make a major effort to provide health insurance for all or nearly all of the country’s uninsured, even if such a plan would involve a substantial increase in spending.  Meanwhile, about a quarter of all respondents would prefer a more limited plan, and about one in six want a candidate who will propose keeping things as they are now.

 
I am very intrigued by these survey results, just as I am concerned about our economic climate.  I am confident that we will see and hear a lot more about this issue as the campaign season swings into high gear.  It should make for some interesting and memorable discussions and debates.  Stay tuned…


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