Program on International Policy

Americans on Health Care Policy

August 30, 2000

To prepare for this study, COPA conducted a nationwide poll, focus groups and a comprehensive review of previous polls done by other organizations.

The Poll

The poll was conducted June 23 - July 9, 2000, with a sample of 652 American adults. Communications Center, Inc., interviewed respondents by telephone on a CATI system, using a survey designed by COPA. Respondents were chosen from all households in the continental United States by a random digit dialing sample generated by Scientific Telephone Samples. Interviewers observed gender and region quotas.

Questions have a margin of error of plus or minus 4%.

Survey Methodology

Data for this survey were collected using telephone interviews with Americans 18 years or older living in the continental United States. The telephone exchanges for this sample were drawn from residential working block exchanges excluding blocks assigned exclusively for business use, mobile phones, military or governmental purposes and known business numbers. Selection from these working blocks was weighted according to the estimated number of working residential telephones within each. The exact number of RDD numbers generated per working block was calculated proportional to the estimated working residential telephones for the particular working block against the total estimated working telephones for the entire sampling frame. Estimates of household telephone coverage were derived from census data on residential telephone incidence and updated with information from local telephone companies and other sources and cross-checked with Bellcore files. For the purpose of this study, a working bank was defined as those with more than three known working residential telephones out of the 100 possible numbers within that block.

The sample was released for interviewing in replicates. Using replicates to order the sequence of calls eliminates potential calling order bias.

Data were weighted to the actual national proportions for age and education, based on estimates from the US Census Bureau.

Focus Groups

COPA used focus groups to better understand how people think and talk about health care issues. Focus groups provide citizens with an opportunity to talk about their views and feelings in their own words and to explain the underlying assumptions behind their views.

COPA conducted two focus groups: in Richmond, Virginia, on June 24, 2000; and in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 8, 2000. Each discussion lasted about 2 hours and included 10 to 12 participants. The Survey Research Center at the University of Connecticut recruited participants for the focus groups in accordance with guidelines specified by COPA. In all cases, a strong effort was made to recruit participants who reflected the demographic makeup of the region.

Review of Other Polls

COPA performed a comprehensive review of publicly released polls on globalization and the related issues covered in this report. The primary sources were the Public Opinion Location Library database of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Connecticut; the National Election Studies Archive at the University of Michigan; and the web site

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