263973 Expanding access to health insurance: Los Angeles County perspective

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 3:30 PM - 3:50 PM

Kelly Clancy, MPA , Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hospital Medicine, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Katrina Kubicek, PhD , Division of Research on Children, Youth and Families, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Susan Wu, MD , Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hospital Medicine, Children's Hospital Los Angeles/USC Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA
BACKGROUND. There are nearly 50 million uninsured Americans in the United States, including 9 million uninsured children. Major legislation in the last few years including the Affordable Care Act have provided opportunities for expansion of coverage. METHODS: We conducted a computer-assisted survey to assess the knowledge and attitudes of the general public in the Los Angeles area toward children's health insurance and health reform. We used a combination of in-person intercept interviews and random digit dialing. Participants were eligible to participate if they were age ≥18, residents of Los Angeles County, and spoke English or Spanish. Survey data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and bivariate methods. RESULTS. A total of 324 surveys were completed; of the respondents, 59% were female; 12% identified as African American or Black, 39% as Latino/Hispanic, 40% as White/Caucasian; and 15% as Asian or Pacific Islander. Overall 22% were uninsured. More than half (58%) reported that they believe the government should require all Americans to have health insurance. Almost all (96%) respondents “agreed” or “strongly agreed” with the statement that all children in the United States should have health insurance coverage. Most responded “favorable” or “very favorable” about government subsidizing health insurance for children (91%) and adults (88%). When considering health care reform, the most common reasons cited for opposing health care reform included the potential of limiting one's current coverage (29%) and the concern it would increase their current health care costs (27%). When analyzing these data by gender, ethnicity, income level and geographic residence, there was no statistical variation. CONCLUSIONS. The public supports government playing a role in ensuring access to health insurance. These findings can be used to influence future policy and advocacy efforts.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Compare public attitudes towards universal health coverage for adults versus children 2. Describe the major reasons why some Los Angeles County residents oppose health care reform 3. Analyze how public perceptions of health reform policies may impact future implementation efforts

Keywords: Health Reform, Access to Health Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I recently received my MPA in public policy. My work experience includes survey research, public health and healthy policy research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.