What New Jersey Residents Think about Health Care Reform

Public opinion poll on health care reform
    • February 9, 2009

In 2007, researchers at the Center for State Health Policy at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, conducted a telephone survey of 1,104 New Jersey residents regarding their opinions on health care reform. The purpose of the survey was to inform discussions then underway among New Jersey policy-makers and health care stakeholders (government officials, providers, consumers and insurers) on options for expanding health care coverage and reducing costs.

Key Findings

  • Two-thirds of poll participants were worried about being able to afford the health care they need, 82 percent worried about having to pay more for their care or coverage and nearly half expressed concern about the possibility of losing their health insurance.

  • A third of respondents agreed that the health care system in New Jersey has so much wrong with it that "we need to completely rebuild it." Another half said that "fundamental changes are needed," even though they believed some aspects of the system could be preserved.

  • Large majorities said they wanted New Jersey government leaders to act "this year" (2007) to address health care costs, coverage for the uninsured and other health care problems.

Methodology: Standard random-digit-dial procedures rely on landlines, but people without landlines are disproportionately likely to be uninsured. Researchers also included a sample of cell phone users. The team interviewed a total of 1,104 New Jersey residents, including:

  • Some 804 landline users (using random-digit-dial procedures).
  • Some 300 cell phone users who either did not have a landline or rarely answered their landline.

The survey ran from June 1, 2007 to July 9, 2007. The response rate for the landline sample was 34 percent and for the cell sample 36 percent.