8 of 10 In Favor of New Law

In a national survey following President Obama’s signature on the final health care reform legislation, 46% of all Americans expressed support for the plan.

That measure of support, however, escalates sharply among gay men and lesbians, 79% of whom say they either strongly support or somewhat support President Obama’s plan for health care reform.

When asked about their own health benefits coverage, 85% of all heterosexuals report they are insured, while 77% of LGBT adults also report they have health insurance today. Among gay men and lesbians specifically, 81% state they currently have health insurance coverage although this statistic drops markedly for lesbians, 73% and bisexual adults, 68%.

 

Nearly half of all Americans say their insurance coverage is through their employer including 51% of LGBT adults. One out of LGBT adults report they are covered through their spouse or partner’s health insurance policy.
The national survey of 2,918 U.S. adults ages 18 and over was conducted online between April 12 and 19 by Harris Interactive, a global market research and consulting firm. This was in conjunction with Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc., a strategic public relations and marketing communications firm with special expertise in the LGBT market.

When asked about factors to consider when choosing among private health care carriers, LGBT adults stated it is important that health insurance carriers offer their own employees access to domestic partner health benefits for same-sex couples.

However, only 12% of LGBT adults report that they are “aware” of any health insurance provider that currently markets products to the LGBT community specifically. This is something gay men and lesbians would like to see more of.

Over 81% of gays and lesbians feel that it is important to see print advertisements for health care carriers with information specifically intended for them as customers, including same-sex couple imagery and tailored messages.

Bob Witeck, CEO of Witeck-Combs Communications, noted, “We have long seen evidence of health disparities across the entire LGBT population, particularly among lesbians, bisexual women and transgender adults. These findings appear to underscore the priority that many LGBT Americans give to affordable access to quality health care – and may help explain, in part, why support for national health care reform is unusually deep.”

Witeck added that the survey outcomes contain equally important data for health insurance companies and employers too: “LGBT consumers, including same-sex couples and families, are eager for meaningful information, along with relevant products, services and opportunities that speak to them directly, respectfully and consistently. They wonder also why more companies including health carriers seem reticent to reach out to them in more direct and inclusive ways.”

Chris Berthelson of Pompano Beach is in favor of the plan. “Give Obama credit. All Americans should have healthcare no matter what. We should provide everyone with a basic need,” he stated.

Despite the overwhelming support the reform has received, some South Florida residents are skeptical. John Hitchcock, a loyal SFGN reader, states “I feel even though everyone should have access to healthcare it should not be force fed on anyone. In my opinion it’s going to do more damage than good.”


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