Study: Americans believe government should meet equally the health needs of both children and the elderly

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Americans believe that the healthcare needs of both children and the elderly are not being met, giving neither group priority over the other, according to a recent study. Most support a government-funded effort to ensure adequate healthcare.

The University of Chicago study, published in a Health Affairs Web exclusive Tuesday, surveyed the responses of 2,013 participants over the telephone about attitudes on healthcare for children and the elderly, as well as if the government were adequately serving these two groups.

The study found that, although the government spends much more money on the elderly than children, respondents did not take notice and called for the government to step in and help both groups.

The survey is relevant because 12 million children and almost four million elderly live at or below the poverty line, according to the report. The attitudes of the public could determine the passage of new reforms. There have been few empirical studies on public attitudes on these two groups since the 1980s.