The Civitas Institute has been involved in conducting surveys in North Carolina for more than two years. Every month the voters are asked to pick the issue or program that needs the most attention from state government. During the past two years lower healthcare costs has always been in the top three and usually the top choice.
According to the October DecisionMaker Poll, 21 percent of voters said that lower healthcare cost is the most important issue facing the state. Within the margin of error is to improve public education at 20 percent, followed by 17 percent who want to control immigration. These three issues have consistently been the top three issues; controlling immigration has grown over the two-year period.
In a series of questions on healthcare, the study found that North Carolina voters are satisfied with the quality of healthcare they receive by a 76 percent to 23 percent margin. The cost of health insurance is voter’s major concern (43 percent) with 31 percent concerned about the number of poor without health insurance. These two major concerns are followed by 16 percent who are concerned about the availability or access to quality care and 5 percent about the inability to qualify for health insurance.
The working poor in need of government provided healthcare is strongly tied to the poverty level. Forty-two percent of those surveyed believe the income level for the working poor to receive government insurance should be $21,000 per year. Another 29 percent would cap the income level for the working poor at $41,000, and only 6 percent believe the coverage should extend to families making $62,000. A small-minority of voters (4 percent) believe coverage for the working poor should include families of four making in excess of $62,000 per year.
“When voters say they are concerned about lower healthcare costs they are really concerned about the cost of health insurance,” according to Civitas President Jack Hawke. “And when it comes to government providing health insurance for the working poor more than 70 percent would cap the income level at $41,000. It is obvious that voters do not favor providing health coverage for families with incomes more than $41,000 per year, as many of our legislators support.”
Tel Opinion Research of Alexandria, Va. conducted the poll on October 9-14 with 800 registered voters who voted in the 2002 and 2004 general elections, were first time voters in the 2006 general election, or voted in 2004 and 2006 as newly registered voters. It has a margin of error of +-3.7 percent.