The following is a summary of responses to interviews with 315 Linn and Benton County Residents in 2013-2014. These structured interviews were carried out by members and acquaintances of Mid-Valley Health Care Advocates (MVHCA) with friends, neighbors, church members, etc., as well as interested persons who attended healthcare-related events or stopped by to ask questions at a table hosted by MVHCA. It was a sample of convenience, not a scientifically designed sample. Yet it provides an important view of how some of our county residents are experiencing health care problems and what their values are regarding health care.
Almost half (48%) of the respondents reported having had problems getting needed health care.
About half (52%) reported being unable to get needed care because of costs.
42% reported they had stayed in a job or relationship to keep health insurance.
15% had experienced discrimination when trying to get health care because of race, immigration status, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability.
Almost a quarter (24%) of respondents had developed more serious health problems because of high costs/limited insurance that delayed needed treatment.
Almost a third (32%) had had problems with medical debts.
99% of respondents said they thought everyone in our state should get the health care they need to maintain health.
90% of respondents said they believed that health care is a human right; 6% were not sure; and 4% said no.
87% said they believed it is the role of our government to make sure that everyone has health care; 9% were not sure; and 4% said no.
84% of respondents said they liked the idea of a universal health care system that would be publicly funded; 12% were not sure; and 4% said no.
Thanks to Carol Gold, Greg Fitzpatrick, and Jack Drexler who analyzed the data from our interviews. Thank you also to the many volunteers in Linn and Benton Counties who took the time to interview people in our community.