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December 16, 1992

The Implications of the 1992 Presidential Election for Health Care Reform

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Health Policy and Management (Dr Blendon) and Harvard Program on Public Opinion and Health Care (Mr Benson), Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Mass; Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, Calif (Drs Altman and Smith and Mr James); and Louis Harris & Associates, New York, NY (Mr Taylor).

JAMA. 1992;268(23):3371-3375. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490230101040

WHAT message about health reform should our elected officials, the health care community, and the American people take from the 1992 presidential election? As an issue, health care enjoyed considerable prominence in the presidential campaign. But is there sufficient support to pass a health reform plan? And if so, from the voters' perspective, what would such a plan have to look like?

This article uses the results of an election night survey of voters, combined with secondary analysis of preelection and election-day exit polls, to examine these questions. The public's responses tell us a great deal about the role of health care in the 1992 election and in the agenda for the newly elected President and Congress.

Data and Methods  The data reported herein are derived primarily from three sources. The first is a national public opinion survey conducted on election night, November 3,1992, by Louis Harris & Associates on