Gallup: Healthcare Not Top Concern for Most Americans

Friday, 29 Jun 2012 08:40 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Despite the highly charged political and constitutional debate over Obamacare, only 6 percent of Americans in June cited healthcare as a top concern, with most listing the economy, jobs, the growing budget deficit, and other problems as more important, according to a new Gallup poll.
 
But the Gallup survey of 1,004 adults conducted in early June suggested the issue could be “front-and-center” again in the coming months if it becomes a hot button issue in the presidential campaign.
 
“Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that the 2010 Affordable Care Act is constitutional, the healthcare issue may become more of a front-and-center focus of news coverage and the presidential election campaigns, and healthcare may thus rise again in Americans’ priorities as the most important problem facing the country,” Gallup officials noted in their survey analysis released Friday.
 
Healthcare peaked as a top issue in 2009 during the heated debate over Obamacare between Congress and President Barack Obama. At the time, 26 percent of Americans polled by Gallup viewed as the most important issue facing the country. 
 
The June findings also differ from recent surveys, which suggested healthcare was one of the most important issues for Americans, especially in terms of how it affects their pocketbooks.
 
In May, for example, Gallup asked Americans to rank 10 economic issues in terms of importance. Survey participants listed healthcare at the top ahead of unemployment and the deficit, with 40 percent saying the cost of healthcare was “extremely important” and 44 percent saying it was “very important.”

In March, another Gallup survey also found that healthcare ranked third in a list of 15 problems that Americans worried about, with 60 percent of participants saying they worried “a great deal” about “the availability and affordability of healthcare.”

Only gas prices and the economy received higher concern at the time.

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