Health Security in America
How secure do you feel in your health and your ability to access the health care you need? Do you often have to choose between paying for healthcare and paying for basic necessities, like rent or groceries? Do you worry that Medicare will not be available for you when you retire?
We believe the answers to these questions are important for our nation's leaders and economic advisors to know and understand. In the United States, where access to health care is closely tied to employment, we believe your health security should be part of the evaluation of consumer confidence and the economic outlook for the country.
That's why we developed the first Health Security Index - to bring the issue of health security more fully into the national dialogue. The Index gauges perceptions and beliefs about individuals' ability to access the care they need and maintain their health, and it explores the degree to which those perceptions align with or diverge from confidence in the economy.
2009: More in U.S. Worried About their Health Care Costs than Losing their Jobs
Despite surging unemployment and continuing corporate layoffs, nearly twice as many U.S. adults are concerned about the rising cost of health care as are concerned about losing their jobs. Our nationally representative survey of 1,250 people found that 69 percent of U.S. adults said they were worried about the cost of health care, while just 37 percent expressed similar concern about staying employed. Our 2009 Health Security Index also found that:
For the first time more than half (51%) of U.S. adults believe the nation's health care system is getting worse.
One in five U.S. adults (20%) have had to choose between buying medicine and paying for other necessities, like groceries or heat for their homes.
The majority of adults in the U.S. (59%) believe we need universal health care in America, even if it means increasing taxes.
Those who work for small businesses are significantly less secure than those who work for large businesses.
Three out of four of those closest to retirement age (50-64 years old) are worried that Medicare will not be available to them.
Lack of Affordability Keeps National Health Security Low
The CHW Health Security Index is a composite score of public perceptions about individuals' ability to access the services they need to maintain their personal sense of health. The nation's overall sense of health security has remained consistently low over the past three years, with a score of 65 out of 100 in 2009, down from 66 in 2008 and 2007. This stability is due primarily to adults' overall confidence in the quality of care available to them, their ability to access that care, and their generally positive sense of personal health.
Concerns about affordability are responsible for keeping the Index low and fully 83 percent of the population believes that making health care affordable for every member of society should be one of Congress' most important issues in the coming year. Watch our Profiles in Health Security to see first hand the degree to which affordability is a major concern for people in the U.S. today.
You can also download our 2009 Health Security Index Report or view the full data presentation.
For more information, contact us at email@example.com or at 415-438-5507.