Post-election consumer survey results reveal warning signs for the health industry

November 2012
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Post-election consumer survey results reveal warning signs for the health industry

At a glance

Almost seven out of 10 voters want President Obama to rein in healthcare costs. The health sector must position itself to serve cost-conscious consumers and clearly articulate its value proposition.

Voters weigh in on healthcare priorities

As President Barack Obama and the Congress debate how to reduce federal spending, a new survey of American voters contains warning signs for segments of the health industry. Nearly seven out of 10 voters say they want President Obama to rein in high healthcare costs in his second term, according to a post-election survey conducted by PwC's Health Research Institute.

When asked to prioritize healthcare reductions, half of survey respondents said they want budget savings to come from lower payments to doctors and hospitals, according to a post-election survey conducted by PwC’s Health Research Institute. Health information technology was the second choice for reductions, despite efforts by the federal government to digitally connect doctors and hospitals to the patients they treat.

Where should healthcare spending be reduced?

At a time when consumers, employers and the federal government are grappling with high health costs, the survey results underscore the need for the industry to demonstrate the value of its goods and services.

Public opinion surveys offer meaningful insights into the awareness level and perceptions of consumers—some of whom will be gaining insurance coverage for the first time a year from now. Many of those surveyed say they see value in providers who work to improve the quality of care and promote public health initiatives, including educating the general public on preventive health measures. The findings should spur further efforts by industry leaders to manage expenses within their control—and to look for partners to help tackle other high-cost are areas.

Survey description:

PwC’s HRI regulatory team collaborated with market research group Penn Schoen Berland based on its 2012 National Post-Election Survey. The results described here are from a national sample of 1,202 participants. The study was conducted online from November 9-10, 2012 among individuals who voted early and on November 6, 2012. The margin of error for the study was +/- 2.83% at the 95% confidence level, larger for subgroups.