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Carolinas Poll: Residents prefer healthcare tuneup


About half of North and South Carolina residents prefer smaller changes to the nation's health care system rather than a public health insurance option. That's according to the annual Carolinas Poll conducted last week. Greg Collard reports. Most people support change to the health care system. The question is how much change. The differences fell largely along racial and gender lines. Whites are less likely to support big change; African-Americans and women are more likely to favor a public health insurance option. For example, 50 percent of African-Americans said they support a public insurance option. Only 16 percent of whites said they endorse a public option. That doesn't surprise Adam Searing of the North Carolina Health Access Coalition. "If you are African-American, you see very clearly many of the disparities that are apparent in our health care system. You see there are these big disparities in the way we deliver care and the way we are being treated, Searing says. Women who responded, like Lisa Moss of Charlotte, were more open to a public option than men. "Some men go to the doctor just as much as women do, but women probably deal more with doctors visits for children - probably for the whole family. They probably deal with making decision on doctors' visits more than men." Twenty-eight percent of women said they support a public option, compared to 21 percent of men. But no matter race or gender, most people in the Carolinas believe something needs to be done to fix the health care system. In North Carolina, 80 percent of respondents said they definitely support change in some form. In South Carolina, the number was 68 percent. The Carolinas Poll was conducted for WFAE, the Charlotte Observer and WCNC-TV. The poll is based on 754 telephone interview, and has a margin of error of 3.6 percent. Dominic Ruiz-Esparza contributed to this story.