San Francisco, CA - March 31, 2008 - The gap in health security is widening between low and high income Americans and between those covered by health insurance and those who are uninsured, according to findings from the second annual Health Security Index released today by Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), the eighth largest healthcare system in the nation.
The Health Security Index, based on a survey of more than 1,150 U.S. adults, also found that:
- There was a 50 percent jump in the number of respondents that cited affordable healthcare for all as the single most important healthcare challenge facing the nation today (from 22% in 2007 to 33% in 2008).
- Democrats (34%), Republicans (32%) and Independents (39%) similarly recognize affordability as the most important healthcare challenge.
- The uninsured are more than three times as likely to have to choose between basic necessities and healthcare.
- One-fifth of U.S. adults (18%) report they are likely to stay at home for a non-urgent health condition (up from 7% in 2007).
- Across all political parties, respondents showed surprising agreement on reform measures that support health insurance choice and tax credits for the poor.
- CHW pioneered the Health Security Index in 2007 to gauge Americans' perceptions and beliefs about their ability to access the care they need and maintain their health.
"The Health Security Index shows us the security divide is growing between the haves and the have nots," says Lloyd H. Dean, Catholic Healthcare West president/chief executive officer. "However, it also shows us Americans are united in their willingness to do their part for meaningful health reform. They are telling us it is time for this country to come together, look for areas of common ground, and provide everyone healthcare they can afford."