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Public Places Blame on Health Insurance and Drug Company Profits

NORWALK, Connecticut, USA (March 24, 2010) - Forty-four percent of U.S. adults are "extremely worried" or "very worried" about paying for rising health-care costs. And the top reasons cited for those rising costs are profits generated by drug companies and health insurance companies.

Those are just two of the findings in a just-released study of 2,389 adults surveyed online between March 11 and 15 by Harris Interactive, one of the world's leading custom market research firms, and HealthDay, a leading producer and syndicator of health news. The poll was conducted before President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed the landmark health-care reform bill into law.

Experts debate whether it's fair to blame the insurers and drug makers for the bulk of the escalating health-care costs. Some health economists say insurance and pharmaceutical company profits amount to only about 2 percent of total health-care spending. The rising charges are more likely due to the greater use of expensive health-care technologies and increased physician/hospital fees, some economists contend.

"Forty-four percent is a huge number of worried citizens and underscores the biggest concern about our health-care system, which is, 'How will America pay for it?'" said Humphrey Taylor, chairman of The Harris Poll, a service of Harris Interactive.

What is indisputable is that health-care costs are rising much faster than inflation or wages, and are gobbling up an ever-growing proportion of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Total spending on health care hit about $2.3 trillion in 2008, which translates to $7,681 per person and 16.2 percent of the GDP, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Read the full report for all the details of the poll. The Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll surveyed 2,389 adults online from March 11-15. HealthDay's news report is available here. Full data on the poll and its methodology are available at Harris Interactive.

About HealthDay

HealthDay, a division of Scout News LLC, is a leading producer and syndicator of evidence-based health news for consumers and physicians and is the largest syndicator of that news to Internet sites. Its consumer health news service ( appears on more than 5,000 Web sites such as Yahoo!, MSN, iVillage, US News & World Report, hundreds of hospitals and hospital group Web sites, as well as print publication Web sites across the country. HealthDay also produces Physician's Briefing (; a news service for physicians, nurses and other medical professionals that is updated twice daily providing 15 articles a day across 27 medical specialties. HealthDay also provides custom content for major health portals. The newest addition to the HealthDay portfolio is HealthDay TV -- a 90-second news broadcast of essential health information that appears on several major media Web sites, US government Web sites and other health information sites.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients - stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit

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