Insurance tied to health care satisfactionNews added by Benefits Pro on March 19, 2014

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By Kathryn Mayer

Two-thirds of Americans are satisfied with the country’s health care system, according to a new Gallup poll.

Levels of satisfaction were determined largely by whether those surveyed had health insurance: 72 percent of people with insurance said they’re happy with the health care system while 26 percent of them said they aren’t. Among those without it, 33 percent are satisfied and 59 percent are dissatisfied.

Gallup also found the young and the old are the two demographics most satisfied with the country’s health care system. Though young people are less likely to have insurance, 73 percent said they’re satisfied with the system. That high satisfaction most likely is attributable to the group’s overall healthy status as well as lower premiums to pay if they don’t have families, Gallup said.

Eighty percent of adults 65 and older said they were satisfied with the country’s health care system, while just 56 percent of middle-aged adults were satisfied (overall they were the most dissatisfied group).

Though the poll didn’t mention the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Gallup researchers said they suspect there is a political component to the answers.

First, Democrats were significantly more likely to be satisfied with the country’s health care system than Republicans and independents, possibly implying that respondents think about PPACA when any question about health care is asked.

Also, fairly high satisfaction levels might help explain why PPACA isn’t very popular among Americans.

“Most Americans do not believe the health care system in this country is in crisis,” they said. “At the same time, a clear majority of Americans now say they disapprove of the Affordable Care Act. Their disapproval could be because many don’t see the need to change the system, and worry that the new legislation will affect a process they currently are satisfied with.”

“Americans’ satisfaction with the way the health care system is working for them appears to be one of the headwinds facing broad acceptance of [PPACA],” they continued. “When a system is seen as working well, it is usually more difficult to propose major changes to it — particularly when those affected may be worried about unanticipated or negative consequences from those changes.”

Gallup surveyed 1,542 adults between March 10 and 15.

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