Siena poll shows state residents favor health-care reform

The results also showed that 70 percent of New York households say food is having a serious or very serious impact on the family budget, while 52 percent say they feel pressure about gasoline prices going up, 49 percent are impacted by health-care costs and 78 percent of households are concerned about energy costs this coming winter.

As far as saving money, the results showed that fewer than 40 percent of New Yorkers have been able to save any money for retirement, and 41 percent have a savings account with enough money in it to pay all household expenses for six months.

Sixty one percent of residents are concerned about their ability to continue to exist at their current standard of living, and 66 percent say they spend more time now than ever worrying about money.

Based on the results of all questions, Levy said the Siena Research Institute is able to cluster people in groups based on their thoughts and beliefs.

"About 35 percent of people say the health-care system is broken, it needs to be fixed, and they tend to support the new proposal overall. So about 35 percent you can identify as supporters of reform," he said. "Twenty six percent believe the system is not broken, it's OK [and] they don't trust government. Forty percent of people really are in the middle. Essentially those people are saying, 'I think the health-care system needs to be reformed, but I need to know how it's going to be done, and how it's going to affect me. I need more information. I don't know what you guys are talking about right now. Stop yelling at each other and tell me.'"

Most importantly, Levy said, these results show that while not every New Yorker may be in support of a government-run health-care plan, overwhelmingly, New Yorkers are at least knowledgeable about what is going on in the debates.

"To me that's sort of the takeaway public opinion in this case," he said. "This is an important matter, this matters to every single person and we deserve a wide open very, very careful methodical debate rather than calling each other names."


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