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Second Opinion for WV Health Poll

November 10, 2008

Charleston, WV – What people in West Virginia thought before last week's election is getting a second look, now that the voting is over.

A poll on health care last month showed most West Virginians were dissatisfied with the quality of care, and concerned about rising costs.

Perry Bryant with West Virginians for Affordable Health Care says that America now needs to turn its attention to the solutions suggested by the poll, which found that 77 percent support health care reform that expands coverage to everyone. And that expansion is supported, even though it might be an expensive and complicated task, according to Bryant.

"Of the people who were polled, 85 percent have health insurance, and yet when you ask them what's more important, controlling costs, or expanding health insurance, they said: 'expanding health insurance.'"

While there's much talk about new leaders blazing the way on health care reform, Bryant says it's something everyone has to participate in.

"I think we are the ones we've been waiting for, you know; it's time for us to get it done."

Reform ideas expected to be discussed nationally include systems similar to the one in Massachusetts, where everyone is required by law to buy coverage, priced on a sliding scale. Another suggestion is an expanded Medicare that everyone could buy if they could not get coverage at work.

Health insurance companies and some health industry experts have warned that those types of reforms would raise prices for everyone.

West Virginians for Affordable Health Care paid for the poll, which surveyed 625 West Virginia residents. The margin of error in the polling is plus or minus 3.9 percent.

Deborah Smith/Deb Courson, Public News Service - WV