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Health Care Coverage Is Top Concern for Area
Residents, UW-Eau Claire Researchers Find

RELEASED: April 1, 2008

EAU CLAIRE — A majority of west central Wisconsin residents worry about health care costs and health care insurance, according to a recent survey by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

"With this survey we now know that concerns about health care and reform are on the minds of nearly everyone in west central Wisconsin," said Dr. Jennifer Johs-Artisensi, assistant professor of management and marketing. "These results can serve as the voice of the people to help guide the current policy debate on health care reform in Wisconsin."

Members of the UW-Eau Claire research team will share their findings during a health care forum from 4:30-6 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, in Room 100 of Hibbard Hall.

During the forum, Wisconsin state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout also will present information about health care and possible health care reform in Wisconsin.

The UW-Eau Claire research team's study examined the level of health care coverage and health care concerns among a sample of 222 residents, Johs-Artisensi said.

Survey findings included:

  • More than 68 percent of respondents felt Wisconsin health care has at least major problems and only 2.7 percent said there were no problems.
  • Approximately 60 percent of the respondents were extremely or very worried about not being able to afford health care services.
  • More than 70 percent of the respondents were extremely or very worried that insurance companies care more about profits than patients.

"These concerns translate into a desire for reform with more than 90 percent of respondents saying that it is extremely or very important for Wisconsin to make health care more affordable and accessible for all residents," Johs-Artisensi said. "Despite some differences between the insured and uninsured, the call for reform was significant among both groups."

Faculty researchers for the "A Descriptive Analysis of Health Care Coverage and Concerns in West Central Wisconsin" project were Dr. Eric Jamelske, assistant professor of economics; Dr. Jennifer Johs-Artisensi, assistant professor of management and marketing; Dr. Lois Taft, professor of nursing; and Katherine German, a graduate assistant in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Student researchers included Ian Hansen, a junior economics major from Eau Claire; Carleigh Nelson, a senior health care administration major from Edina, Minn.; and McKenzie Johnson, a junior health care administration major from Eau Claire.

The project was funded by a series of student-faculty research collaboration grants from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at UW-Eau Claire. Forum sponsors include UW-Eau Claire's Center for Health and Aging Services Excellence, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and departments of economics and political science.

For more information about the survey findings or the forum, contact Dr. Jennifer Johs-Artisensi at 715-836-3589 or johsarjl@uwec.edu, or Dr. Eric Jamelske at 715-836-3254 or jamelsem@uwec.edu.

-30-

JB

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