Americans Say Health Care Quality Slipping

November 3, 2000 ( - A growing number (39%) of Americans believe health care has worsened in the past five years, but 43% of those that have actually received treatment are still extremely satisfied with the quality of care they received, according to a recent survey.

According to the third annual Health Confidence Survey, two years ago 35% felt health care had gotten worse, while nearly half (47%) of those who received care in the prior two years were extremely or very satisfied.

Clue “Less”

Just 23% of respondents claimed to be somewhat familiar with managed care, down from 29% in 1998.   Meanwhile, a full 39% say they are “not at all familiar” with the topic, up from 28% just two years ago.

Twenty-two percent of the survey respondents ranked health care as the most critical issue facing America today, slightly behind education, which was cited by a quarter of the respondents.  Also on the critical list were crime (16%), Social Security (11%), gun control (10%), and taxes (9%).


The survey found that women, when compared with men, are:

  • more likely to rank health care as the most critical issue
  • less likely to have confidence that they will be able to afford coverage in retirement
  • less confident they will have enough choice about who provides their medical care
  • less confident they will be able to get the treatments they need

The 2000 Health Confidence Survey (HCS) was sponsored by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), the Consumer Health Education Council (CHEC), and Mathew Greenwald & Associates.