New York, Oct.3 : Four out of ten American voters do not see the healthcare plans being projected by Barack Obama and John McCain as being better for them.
As part of the ongoing poll series, Debating Health: Election 2008, the Harvard Public Opinion Research Program at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Harris Interactive(r) conducted the new survey.
The survey found that voters view the candidates' plans differently from this perspective.
More voters think Senator Barack Obama's plan would be better for them than Senator John McCain's plan (33 percent vs. 27 percent).
This survey was conducted September 17-21, 2008, by telephone among a national cross section of 935 registered voters in the United States.
"The most interesting finding is not that Obama does better than McCain, but that Obama's lead is narrower on these questions that focus on how the plans would affect them personally," says Humphrey Taylor, Chairman of The Harris Poll(r).
"These are not bad results for the McCain campaign."
Those who do feel there would be a difference are split in a statistical tie (26 percent for McCain vs. 24 percent for Obama).
Among seniors, a near majority see no difference or don't know which plan would be better for them (46 percent), and those who do see a difference are also tied (27 percent vs. 27 percent). "Ultimately independents are the key to winning this race, and at the moment they are up for grabs in terms of whether they see McCain's plan or Obama's plan as better for them," says Robert Blendon, Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health.
More women think Barack Obama's health care plan would be better for them personally than John McCain's plan (38 percent vs. 21 percent), even though a large share also thinks there would be no difference between the plans or doesn't know if there would be (41 percent).
By comparison, men are tied even among those who think there would be a difference between the plans (29 percent vs. 32 percent).
Thus, women appear to be driving Obama's current lead on this question. The uninsured are also more likely to think Obama's health care plan will be better for them (53 percent vs. 26 percent), as are the disabled (37 percent vs. 22 percent). Obama's plan leads the most on the issue of providing insurance coverage. bama has a smaller lead with respect to views of the cost and quality of health care under his plan. More people think Obama's plan would require lower payments from them and would deliver better quality of care for them.