The 2008 Health Confidence Survey: Rising Costs Continue to Change the Way Americans Use the Health Care System
Ruth Helman, Mathew Greenwald & Associates
Paul Fronstin, Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)
EBRI Notes, Vol. 29, No. 10, October 2008, SSRN
This paper presents findings from the 2008 Health Confidence Survey (HCS), the 11th wave of an annual survey to assess the attitudes of the American public regarding the health care system in the United States. Findings from the 2008 Health Confidence Survey (HCS) continue to demonstrate that rising health care costs are connected to changes in the way that Americans are using the health care system. However, the long-term consequences of these changes remain to be seen, as some changes are positive but others could have a negative outcome. Perhaps largely because of their experience with rising health care costs, Americans continue to view the country’s overall health care system negatively, feeling it needs a major or even a complete overhaul. They believe reform needs to balance multiple goals, including making health care more affordable and providing high-quality health care. Many are willing to support changes to make sure more Americans have access to health insurance coverage.The findings from the 2008 HCS, while in large part consistent with findings from previous years, are significant in that they come at a time when health care costs are continuing to rise, the economy is slowing, the housing market is in crisis, and food and energy price inflation is creeping up. The HCS is co-sponsored by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization, and Mathew Greenwald & Associates, Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based market research firm.