By 2-to-1 Margin, American Women Prefer Private Health Insurance Over Government-Run Plan, Poll Finds

October 29, 2009 - 5:07 PM
Women want little or no change made to their health-care or health insurance , according to a new poll sponsored by the Independent Women's Forum, released Thursday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. pumps her fists after she announced a retooled health care overhaul bill, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009. on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(CNSNews.com) – Nearly two-thirds of American women would rather have private health-care insurance than a government-run plan, according to a poll released Thursday by the Independent Women's Forum. 
 
The same proportion, two-thirds, also said Congress should not rush to pass a health-care bill.

By a margin of 64 percent to 27 percent, women agreed they “would rather have private health insurance than a government-run health insurance plan,” according to the poll.

The random- digit-dial telephone survey, which was conducted by pollster Kellyanne Conway, surveyed 800 women from across the country from Oct. 19-25. 

"In this poll we treat women like grownups," said Conway, a Republican and president of the polling company. "We don't ask them just about babies and families, although we cover those issues. We ask them about real world economics, real tradeoffs and the real costs associated with our health-care system." 

The poll found that concern over the economy (39 percent) topped health care as women's main concern.

But the poll found that at least two-thirds of women are happy with their own health insurance and health care.
 
-- 66 percent described the quality of their health insurance as “excellent” or “good.” 74 percent used the same terms to describe the quality of their health care.
 
-- 75 percent don’t want drastic changes made to theire own health care (40 percent said it should “be modified, but mostly left the same,” 35 percent said it should “be left as is” and 19 percent want it to “undergo dramatic overhaul.”)

-- 59 percent don't want drastric changes to health care in America (35 percent said "undergo dramatic overhaul," 48 percent said "be modified, but mostly left the same" and 11 percent said "be left as is.")
  
“Less than 10 percent of women think that they are getting 'the short end of the stick' in terms of health-care,” Independent Women’s Forum Senior Policy Analyst Nicole Kurowzawa told CNSNews.com.
 
Moreover, women overwhelmingly said they didn not want their own health insurance to be switched to government-run insurance, Kurozawa said. 

-- 62 percent disagreed with the statement: “A government-run health care program is best for my family and me.”
 
-- 57 percent said they would not trade out their coverage for a government-run health care plan, and 56 percent disagreed with the statement: "Women like me would be best-served by a government-run health-care plan."  
 
-- Approximately two-thirds (66 percent) of women said they think about health-care reform more for others who need it than for themselves; 10 percent said they consider it mostly in terms of their own needs.
 
“When women say they want expanded federal health-care, they mean that they want it to exclude themselves,” Kurowkawa. “They want it to reach out to the poor, to reach out to the elderly. ”
 
Women also see no need for speed in passing legislation, the poll found.  

In fact, when asked, the overwhelming majority (67 percent) of women agreed with the following statement: “I would prefer that United States Senators and Members of Congress not support poorly-crafted or rushed healthcare legislation. It is more important to get it done right than to get it done fast.”
 
“Less than 30 percent of the women surveyed said that ‘something is better than nothing,’” Kurowzawa said, adding that the finding doesn’t come as a surprise.
 
“The idea that we should slow down and read the bills makes total sense, but it’s good to see that most women across the country also think it makes good sense, as well,” she said.
 
The poll was released on the same day that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) unveiled a revamped version of the health-care reform bill in the House of Representatives.
 
“We have listened to the American people; we are putting forth a bill that reflects our best values and addresses our greatest challenges,” Pelosi said in a Thursday ceremony conducted on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.
 
Interestingly, however, according to the IWF poll, 71 percent of women business owners (and 67 percent of women overall) said they would be “less likely” to vote for a candidate for Congress “knowing he or she favored moving people from their private healthcare plans to government-run health-care plans.”
 
Only 19 percent of respondents said they would be more likely to support such a candidate.
 
Moreover, 68 percent of women who described themselves as independents disagreed with the statement: “Overhauling the nation’s healthcare system is so important that it should be enacted even if it significantly increases the federal budget deficit” (compared to 33 percent of Democrats and 76 percent of Republicans).
 
The scientifically designed survey sampled women in every age group, and from every part of the country. 

Forty-three (43) percent described themselves as conservative, 22 percent as liberal, 40 percent were Democrats, 32 percent Republicans, 22 percent were Independents. Overall, 53 percent described themselves as “pro-life,” 40 percent as “pro-choice.” Fifty-eight percent said they voted for Obama, 40 percent for McCain.

The poll's margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.5 percent.