June 10, 2011
Contact:
Emerson Brown, NPR


   

POLL FINDS THREE-QUARTERS OF AMERICANS SUPPORT GOVERNMENT INSURANCE SUBSIDIES FOR BIRTH CONTROL PILLS

NPR and Thomson Reuters Unveil New Monthly Health Poll Series; Available at Shots, NPR's Health Blog

American consumers are broadly in favor of oral contraceptive coverage by both private and government-subsidized health insurance plans according to the NPR-Thomson Reuters Health Poll.

The poll, which addresses public attitudes toward birth control pills, was developed by NPR and Thomson Reuters as part of a new monthly series designed to gauge attitudes and opinions on a wide range of health issues. Poll results are reported by NPR's Scott Hensley on the health blog Shots and on air.

The poll finds that 77 percent of respondents believe private insurance should cover most or all cost of oral contraceptives, and 74 percent believe government-subsidized insurance plans should cover birth control pills. Additionally, 78 percent said they believe the federal government should subsidize birth control and other family planning services, excluding abortion, at government-funded clinics for low-income women.

"Our survey findings provide a benchmark for public sentiment on issues that are continually dividing lawmakers, businesspeople and healthcare professionals," said Raymond Fabius, M.D., chief medical officer at the healthcare business of Thomson Reuters. "By pairing our robust data analytics with NPR's groundbreaking healthcare reporting, we're able to offer valuable perspective on these critical issues."

"The polls let us delve into consumer attitudes about everything from flu vaccines to taxes on sugary drinks," said Hensley, NPR health correspondent and blogger. "The results provide a powerful and timely way to understand and explain how people view pressing health issues."

NPR and Thomson Reuters have been working informally on the polls for several months. "By solidifying our partnership, we believe we will create a valuable and lasting source of in-depth information about health," Hensley said.

To date, NPR and Thomson Reuters have addressed a number of health topics, gauging sentiment on generic drugs, abortion, vaccines, food safety and other issues. NPR's reports on past surveys are archived at Shots. Thomson Reuters also offers a comprehensive library of poll results.

The NPR-Thomson Reuters Health Poll is powered by the Thomson Reuters PULSESM Healthcare Survey, an independently funded, nationally representative telephone poll, which collects information about health behavior, attitudes and utilization from more than 100,000 US households annually. Survey questions are developed in conjunction with NPR. The figures in this month’s poll are based on 3,014 participants interviewed from April 1-13, 2011. The margin of error is 1.8 percent.

NPR's Shots blog covers news and issues related to health and medicine. Hensley is the blog’s host and lead writer. Correspondents on NPR's Science Desk regularly contribute posts on subjects ranging from the nitty-gritty of health policy to the mystery of foreign accent syndrome. The blog, started in 2009, has become one of the most popular on NPR.org.

About NPR
NPR is an award-winning, multimedia news organization and an influential force in American life. In collaboration with more than 900 independent public radio stations nationwide, NPR strives to create a more informed public – one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures.

About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial, legal, tax and accounting, healthcare and science and media markets, powered by the world's most trusted news organization. With headquarters in New York and major operations in London and Eagan, Minnesota, Thomson Reuters employs 55,000 people and operates in over 100 countries. For more information, go to www.thomsonreuters.com.