Thursday, October 27, 2005

TX and VT Healthcare Polls: Common Ground

Texas and Vermont are not often mentioned in the same sentence. But recent polls on consumer healthcare preferences show that the iconically Red State Texas and the poster-child Blue State Vermont aren't that far apart in health care policy priorities.

Kaiser found that among Texans, 81% felt increasing the number of Americans covered by insurance was "Very Important" while AARP found that 78% of Vermonters thought that reducing the number of uninsured Vermonters was "Very Important" or "Extremely Important."

The Vermont study interestingly found that 66% of respondants strongly agreed that the state should ensure a certain baseline level of healthcare for each Vermonter. What that base should be, though, was not defined. The Texas study did not address this question, but another study by NPR/Kennedy School in 2002 found 52% of Texans favor national insurance coverage, with particular support among Hispanics.

There are certain to be real differences between what type of healthcare systems the two states would develop over time, but it is interesting that two states with such different general political cultures should look so similar when polled regarding goals for the healthcare industry.

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