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Health and Healthcare Costs Remain Top Concerns

As Kentuckians go to the polls to elect a new governor Nov. 3, a new issues poll finds that health care, education and the economy will be on their minds. Credit: Greg Stotelmyer.
As Kentuckians go to the polls to elect a new governor Nov. 3, a new issues poll finds that health care, education and the economy will be on their minds. Credit: Greg Stotelmyer.
October 29, 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Improving one's personal health and reducing the cost of healthcare remain top priorities for Kentuckians, just as they were in 2011, the last time Kentucky was electing a governor.

The new Kentucky Health Issues Poll finds the two health-related concerns rank closely behind the economy, jobs and education as the state's top issues. The poll was commissioned by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

Foundation president and CEO Susan Zepeda says the 2015 survey discovered a wider gap among those polled on the issue of improving the health of residents.

"Nine in 10 Democrats said that was extremely or very important. About seven in 10 Republicans said it was very important or extremely important," says Zepeda. "About a 20 point gap there between party alignments."

On the question of reducing healthcare costs, about nine in 10 residents who identified themselves as Democrats said it was extremely or very important, compared to about eight in 10 Republicans.

Zepeda says with more residents now getting access to health care, the foundation is encouraging providers to continue to find ways to innovate.

"To harness technology, to look at skill alignment with the work to be done and maybe bring on-line more capacity of nurse practitioners and physician assistants and even community health workers," she says. "Doing care differently will bring those costs down without harming access."

The 1,600 Kentuckians surveyed in the Kentucky Health Issues Poll made the economy their top priority, with 91 percent saying it was extremely or very important. K-through-12 education was a close second at 90 percent.

Kentuckians go to the polls to choose a new governor Nov. 3.

Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY