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Bad Economy, Bad Health?

Many Americans Say the Weak Economy Adds to the Financial and Emotional Strain of Managing Chronic Illnesses

Health Reform Doesn’t Raise Much Hope for Sick People

When it came to President Obama’s health reform bill, less than 15% of heart disease patients or people with diabetes or cancer feel they’ll be better off under the new law. About a third of patients in each category told pollsters they don’t feel the new law will make much difference, or don’t know what its impact will be.

“Although experts suggest the health-care reform law has provisions that could help people with illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, or cancer, many people who have such diseases do not believe it,” says Robert J. Blendon, ScD, director of the Harvard Opinion Research Program.

Poll participants included 508 people with heart disease, 506 with diabetes, and 506 with cancer.

Researchers also found that 88% of participants had some kind of health insurance, 30% were between the ages of 55 and 64, 78% were white, 49% were males, and 37% lived in the South.

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