Thursday, November 12, 2009

LightSource Poll by KJT Group Shows Divide in Americans' Health Care and Beliefs

nys unemployment insurance

HONEOYE FALLS, N.Y., Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Fresh off the House of Representatives' landmark vote this past Saturday, the new LightSource poll, conducted by KJT Group, reaffirms that Americans are not on the same page when it comes to our nation's heath care, health insurance and the government's role in both. This wave of the LightSource was a national poll of 962 general population respondents across the United States. Sampling was provided by OTX Research.

The results show that Health Care Reform is the nation's second most important issue facing the United States in total (21.5% rated as most important), behind Unemployment (31.2% rated as most important). The greatest proportion of Democrats (33.0%), Republicans (24.1%) and Independents (36.6%) all rated Unemployment as the most important issue. Health Care reform was the runner up, however, with 28.6% of Democrats, 17.1% of Republicans and 17.0% of Independents rating it as the most important issue. The National Debt was ranked as most important by a greater proportion of Republicans (20.2%) as compared with Democrats (10.4%) and Independents (16.2%).

As policy makers try to build consensus about the ways and means needed to improve the health care system, an important issue is the question as to whether health insurance and health care services delivery should be viewed as two distinct components of that system. A full 43.2% of respondents agreed that insurance and delivery of care should be considered two, separate systems, whereas 25.2% disagreed with the same premise. Other important beliefs about the health care system are illustrated in Table 1.

Statements about the Percent Agreeing with Statements
Health Care System (Somewhat or Completely Agree)

Health insurance and the delivery Total Democrat Republican Independent
of health services should be
considered two, separate systems. 43.2 40.8 47.5 46.0

Health insurance should mainly be
used to pay for major, expensive
health events. 29.3 27.1 35.4 28.5

Health care is a right, and should
be provided to all citizens
regardless of ability to pay or
their behavior. 55.6 70.2 37.0 57.9

I have very little control over
the amount of money I will need
to spend on health care. 54.4 59.2 48.2 56.6

"The LightSource Poll provides strong evidence of continued disparity across political party affiliation as it relates to important aspects of how we view our Health Care System in America today. It is clear that Americans are not on the same page, even among same party affiliation, as to the role of insurance as one example," said Kenneth Tomaszewski, Light Source Director, and President of the KJT Group.

Dr. Theodore Brown, Professor in the Department of History and Professor in Division of Health Services Research, Community & Preventive Medicine at the University of Rochester said that he was most struck by two things: how many Americans feel they have little control over the amount of money they spend on health care, and how many believe that health care should be a basic right. "In fact," he said, "I find it very telling that 37% of the Republican respondents agree with 70% of the Democrats on this issue. I think this is an important finding, and I hope Washington takes notice."

This wave of the LightSource poll was conducted among 962 adults (18 years or older) between October 28 and November 10, 2009. This was a non-probability, stratified sample, collected via web-based interviews. As such margin of error cannot be accurately estimated. In addition to the results shown here, an oversample of 600 New York State residents was collected and is published separately. For more information such as a detailed methodology, or additional results from this wave of the LightSource, go to

About LightSource: The LightSource poll is a nationally representative, online public-opinion poll conducted quarterly. The LightSource focuses on three primary topics: the economy, the health care system, and care giving trends. The LightSource employs stratified sampling, focusing on key factors such as age, gender, household income and U.S. geographic region to help ensure national representation.

About KJT Group: KJT Group is an innovative consulting and research company that provides data and insights into the evolving health care marketplace. KJT Group is a member of the National Public Polling Commission (NPPC), Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO), Academy Health, and the International Society for Pharmoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR).

About OTX Research: OTX ( is a global research and consulting firm (18th largest U.S.) specializing a suite of multi-media research products to the marketing, entertainment and advertising communities. Its opt-in samples are obtained and managed through a number of sources to ensure a representative global population for online research.