News Interest Index: Health Care—Important, Interesting, But Hard to Follow

  • July 22, 2009

The debate over revamping the nation's health care system is drawing increased public attention. A third (33%) say they are following the health care debate very closely, up from 24% the previous week. And while news coverage of health care also increased over the past week, a sizable minority of Americans (45%) say the issue is receiving too little coverage.

Nearly all Americans (95%) view the issue of health care reform as important. Substantial majorities also say this issue affects them personally (78%) and is interesting (72%). Yet health care reform also is an issue that most Americans find difficult to understand: 63% say it is hard to understand, while just 34% say it is easy to understand.

The latest weekly News Interest Index, conducted July 17-20 among 1,002 adults by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, finds that the debate over health care and news about the economy are the week's the top stories in terms of public interest; 22% each said they followed these stories more closely than any other.

Read the full report Health Care: Important, Interesting, But Hard to Follow on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.