95% of Americans want a health care overhaul, according to a new survey released by the AFL-CIO.

95% of people are concerned about being able to afford health insurance in the coming years.

The 2008 Health Care for America survey is by no means scientific; the sample of 26,419 was conducted online between January and early March, 2008. But the data do have significance in terms of their veracity and clarity of voice and opinion.

Among many important points in the study are that:

– 1/3 of people have skipped medical care because of cost
– 1/4 of people have had serious problems paying for the care they needed.
– Nearly 50% of people say they have been job-locked by needing to stay in a particular job for health care when wishing to change employers

79% of people will vote on health care as a “very important” issue.

The survey sample is quite politically empowered: 97% plan to vote in the November elections.

What’s most disturbing is that 85% of respondents said their families have “just enough to get by” or “are falling behind.”

Over 8 in 10 forecast that the standard of living will be worse for the next generation.

Health Populi’s Hot Points: While on holiday this week in a warm climate amid some affluent Americans, I can tell you that health care has been a top-topic of conversation over breakfast and dinner. I have thus far met people from Ohio, Minnesota, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Indiana (as well as a few Germans and Canadians). Over drinks and food, I hear, over and over, stories about health care access and lack thereof, as well as cost concerns. One oncology researcher said the health care scene in Ohio looks and feels like the one he recalls from his early days as a young scientist living in Mississippi in the late 1970s.

The AFL-CIO survey further adds to the long list of polling sources that paint a picture of the Average American’s feelings about health care today. If those who are concerned about health care vote in November 2007, we may reach record turnout. If there is any good news in this study, that would be it.

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