Top Health-Care Problems: Access, Cost, Government

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Government involvement in health care has become a top health-care concern for many Americans, according to a new Gallup poll released Wednesday.

Compared to a previous survey at the beginning of the year, about twice as many people -- approximately 10% of those surveyed, up from 5% -- now consider government involvement in health care to be a problem, making the issue one of respondents' top five concerns.

The finding indicates mixed public reaction to the healthcare reform bill that President Barack Obama signed earlier this year. Most of the policies in the bill, designed to reduce the number of uninsured Americans, don't take effect until 2014. Meanwhile, some 16.6% of Americans had no health insurance in October, up from 16.1% at the beginning of 2009, Gallup said in a separate poll released earlier this month.

So it's no surprise that the biggest issue -- the one most cited as a problem by the respondents of this survey -- was access to health care, followed by costs. About a quarter of those polled listed access as a problem, while 19% picked costs, making those two issues the most critical factors to public opinion.

Democrats considered access and cost more problematic than Republicans, according to the survey released Wednesday, while Republicans were three times as likely as Democrats to call government involvement a health-care problem.

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