July 16, 2020 | FAH Policy Blog Team
New national public opinion polling shows Americans overwhelmingly support hospitals and recognize the need for further aid as front-line health care providers fight to defeat COVID-19. The poll conducted on behalf of the Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care (FAH is a founding member) found registered voters hold strongly favorable views of health care providers and hospitals, with 76% rating hospitals as favorable and 42% as very favorable. This is the highest level of support recorded in memory and is consistent across political affiliation.
Three-quarters support $100 billion of additional relief for hospitals and other care providers, reflecting recognition of the clinical and financial challenge in the response to COVID-19. Among respondents, 58% believe that hospitals are experiencing bad times financially. The 75% support for financial aid for hospitals includes majorities of Republicans (60%), Independents (76%) and Democrats (89%).
“Unfortunately, the pandemic is far from over. Our caregivers are working tirelessly to save lives, but hospitals need help. Americans understand and that is why – regardless of party affiliation – we see broad based support for Congress and the Administration providing hospitals the resources necessary to beat COVID-19,” said Chip Kahn, FAH President and CEO.
According to the poll, Americans also report they are hearing more media reports about hospitals. More than 7-in-10 voters across the country say they have heard “a lot” about hospitals in the news, up from a previous high of just 20%. The more Americans are exposed to news about hospitals, the more they understand the challenges hospitals face in caring for coronavirus patients. This is also the case for Americans who have been hospitalized at some point during the pandemic.
Supermajorities across political affiliation also expressed support for proposals including:
- Providing financial assistance to help businesses that have been badly impacted by the coronavirus continue to provide health insurance coverage to their employees;
- Providing tax-free child care, housing, transportation and education benefits to health care providers working in hospitals who are caring for patients with the coronavirus;
- Protecting health care providers, like doctors and nurses working in hospitals, from lawsuits related to the coronavirus; and
- Protecting hospitals from lawsuits related to shortages of equipment or personnel during the coronavirus emergency.
“Our coalition was founded more than 20 years ago to serve as a unified voice for everyone who cares about hospitals and the health of their communities, and that voice is needed more today than ever,” said Marna P. Borgstrom, Chief Executive Officer of Yale New Haven Health System and Chair of the Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care. “These results indicate the American people are behind us in our advocacy to ensure hospitals and health systems have the resources they need in the continued battle against COVID-19.”
The Coalition is a community of 2 million people who advocate on hospital’s behalf to elected officials in Washington. The group represents the interests of the community, children’s, teaching, public, religious, rehabilitation, behavioral health, and long-term care hospitals, and their patients.
“Americans are paying close attention to this pandemic and how it impacts both their health and the hospitals they rely on for care,” said Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association. “They know – as we do – that the entire nation is counting on hospitals and health systems to remain strong and resilient in this face of the COVID-19 threat. This is a matter of both public health and national security.” AHA is also a founding member of the Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care.
The survey was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies through a national telephone survey of 800 registered voters from June 25-28, 2020. The margin of error was 3.46%.
Read more about the survey’s findings HERE.
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