Healthcare Executives Support Obama in Greater Numbers than General Electorate

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Throughout the presidential campaign cycle, "healthcare reform" has been a significant issue for both Senators Barack Obama and John McCain, as well as for those responsible for running the existing healthcare system. As the election itself nears, the Adaptive Business Leaders Organization (ABL) surveyed its California-based Healthcare Members, all of whom are health industry leaders, on some of the biggest issues facing the presumptive presidential nominees, the federal and state legislatures, and voters today. Unlike the latest Gallup Poll of registered voters which shows Barack Obama with only a 3-point edge over John McCain - 45% to 42%, in the ABL Healthcare poll, Senator Obama has a commanding 13-point edge, with 56.5% vs. 43.5% "voting for" Obama in response to the question: "Who do you believe would be the better President of the U.S., as far as the healthcare industry is concerned?"

Government-sponsored healthcare will become less efficient and more costly.

Throughout the presidential campaign cycle, "healthcare reform" has been a significant issue for both Senators Barack Obama and John McCain, as well as for those responsible for running the existing healthcare system. As the election itself nears, the Adaptive Business Leaders Organization (ABL) surveyed its California-based Healthcare Members, all of whom are health industry leaders, on some of the biggest issues facing the presumptive presidential nominees, the federal and state legislatures, and voters today.

"The diversity of the combined responses of the surveyed, top-level executives - who run hospitals and medical groups, insurance companies, healthcare information and medical technology, biotech, home health, government agencies and healthcare professional service firms - reflect the complexity and the breadth of thinking on the core issues by those most knowledgeable about them, " noted ABL President, Mimi Grant. "With 2009 projected healthcare spending at $2.5 trillion - 16% of the GDP," Grant continued, "how the candidates choose to "fix" healthcare will touch everyone as a patient, tax payer, and for many, as employees."

Unlike the latest Gallup Poll of registered voters which shows Barack Obama with only a 3-point edge over John McCain - 45% to 42%, in the ABL Healthcare poll, Senator Obama has a commanding 13-point edge, with 56.5% vs. 43.5% "voting for" Obama in response to the question: "Who do you believe would be the better President of the U.S., as far as the healthcare industry is concerned?"

On other major issues impacting the national healthcare reform debate, the Members were more evenly divided. When asked: "Do you believe that 'healthcare is a right' for every U.S. citizen?", 55.3% agreed, while 44.7% did not. The evenness of the split was even more significant when asked: "Do you support government-mandated healthcare insurance coverage for all U.S. citizens?," to which 52.1% responded in the affirmative, with 47.9% not supporting it.

However, when asked "Do you believe that 'healthcare is a right' for everyone in the U.S. (including non citizens)?", only 23.4% agreed, while 76.6% do not.

Not content to merely "check a box," many of the survey participants supplemented their responses with comments, which further illustrate both their depth of thinking and the diversity of their opinions, when it comes to "healthcare reform":

On Healthcare as a "Right" for Citizens:
"Healthcare may be a "right" but it is also an obligation. Each person must pay a fair amount and agree to be insured."
"(Healthcare is) not a right, but improving coverage for all is good business."
"All rights come with responsibilities, and this is where the political discussion needs to take place."
"Healthcare is not a 'right,' but it is the responsibility of society to care for those who cannot take care of themselves. Even primitive tribes have acted that way. The question is: how much care to provide? I believe that people who cannot afford to pay the full fees for healthcare should receive subsidized, "survival level" healthcare.
"While not a right, there should be access to healthcare and insurance for all citizens."
"I would like for all who want to be covered by insurance to have that option, but I do not think that one plan and one payer is a good solution for everyone. I do think that most Americans do feel that healthcare is a right, but do not realize that if the government is the payer, the costs of healthcare will increase."
"We need to define healthcare. I believe that basic healthcare (vaccines) should be provided, but healthcare should be rationed for the elderly and those who will not benefit from treatment."

On Healthcare as a "Right" for Non-Citizens:
"While not a 'right' of non-citizens, I think that basic healthcare for all is ultimately less expensive and less risky to the health and economy of our society than alternatives."
"We have an obligation to provide coverage and care for immigrants, both legal and undocumented."
"It is critical that our entire community is healthy."
"Non-citizens should be denied access unless they can pay, IMHO."

On Government-Mandated Healthcare Insurance:
"Care is provided today in the ER, money and resources could be better spent in providing routine preventive care; incentives are preferable to mandates."
"I favor government-sponsored coverage for low income, but not mandated for all."
"Mandating health coverage adds no value to the healthcare system by itself. It Is government's role to create the right incentives for healthcare providers and patients to be effective and efficient, facilitate optimum industry infrastructures like electronic medical records, promote healthy competition where it's practical, promote the measurement and publication of relevant and meaningful health quality standards and performance results of provider groups and healthcare programs."
"Government should provide basic care, not require insurance."
"Government-sponsored healthcare will become less efficient and more costly."
"Consumer-driven is the key."

About the ABL Organization
For over 25 years, California's Technology and Health Executives have relied on ABL's CEO Round Tables, through its unique multi-coach approach, to accelerate their corporate and professional growth and help them build great companies. In monthly, confidential Advisory Board sessions, Members share and discuss industry trends - and their most pressing concerns. ABL supports the needs of its top-level Member Executives (CEOs, Presidents and Division heads of publicly traded, private and not-for-profit companies) by providing them a "safe-place" to draw on the experience, knowledge and skill sets of their peers in a non-competing, vertical-industry, personal advisory board setting.

About the Survey Participants
The survey results were tabulated from the responses of 48 California Healthcare Executives, all of whom are ABL Members and participate in one of our California-based Healthcare Executives Round Tables. Each questions' response percentage was based on 45 - 48 individual participant responses; not a single question had less than a 94% participation rate. Of the executives who took part in this survey, 85% have a title of either (or combination of): Chairman, President, CEO or Executive Director, the remaining 15% are Healthcare Division GMs. The participants' companies' industries include: hospitals, facilities and systems; medical groups and IPAs; home health, imaging and dialysis; managed care and other insurance-related firms; medical devices and diagnostics; pharmaceutical, biotech and drug discovery; healthcare IT and healthcare-focused professional service firms.

Mimi Grant, President (714/245-1425)
Laura Grant, ABL Event and Marketing Director (714/245-1427)
Adaptive Business Leaders Organization

930 W. Town & Country Road
Orange, CA 92868
(714) 245-2400
Fax: (714) 245-1428
http://www.abl.org

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