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Health Aff (Millwood). 2006 Nov-Dec;25(6):w508-15. Epub 2006 Oct 17.

Understanding The American Public's Health Priorities: a 2006 perspective.

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  • 1Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Opinion surveys conducted in 2006 show that health care is an important but second-tier issue in terms of priorities for government action. Americans' top health care concerns are mostly related to economic insecurity: rising costs and the problems of the uninsured. The biggest perceived health threats are cancer, HIV/AIDS, and avian flu. Although most Americans do not think that the health system is in crisis, the public remains dissatisfied with both the country's health care and public health systems. These attitudes are likely to create a climate that is supportive of increased health spending and substantial policy changes.

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