Access to Health Care and Medicaid Top Concerns of State and Local Officials

Researchers at George Washington University, Washington, conducted a nationwide questionnaire survey to gather information on health policy and public health concerns of officials from governors' offices and legislative staff in almost every state.

Based on the findings of this questionnaire, the project conducted personal interviews with a wide range of government officials in 16 selected states, and two cities or counties within each state.

Key Findings

  • The survey questionnaire and state-by-state personal interviews with key decision-makers found the following:

    • In the written survey questionnaire, state executive branches and legislatures identified, in order of importance, three key policy issues:
      • Medicaid policy.
      • Cost containment.
      • Access to health services.
    • The questionnaire also showed that the executive agencies were concerned with containing costs, particularly the cost of technology.
    • Legislators and executives routinely identified access to health care services as an area of concern.
    • The in-person survey of officials in 16 states identified five major areas of concern:
      • Access to care.
      • Cost and value of care.
      • Financial access.
      • Medicaid.
      • Rural health care.