Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Melinda Goldner

Second Advisor

Ilene Kaplan




health, physicians, care, program, support


This study examines changes in physicians’ attitudes on the concepts of universal health care and a national health insurance program. Physicians’ historical position towards universal health care has also been examined. Physicians from Buffalo, New York (n = 20) were given surveys in December 2007 and anonymous responses were collected in January 2008. The response rate was 25%. Although useful as a pilot study, the low response rate makes it difficult to generalize to the larger population of physicians. Of the physicians who responded, 35% were found to support universal health care between 1993 and 1994 when President Clinton proposed his Health Security Act, whereas 70% now support universal health care. Results also indicate that 60% of the physicians studied support governmental legislation to establish a national health insurance program and 50% support a program in which the federal government finances a national health insurance program; this also suggests physicians’ high level of support for universal health care. It was found that 90% of physicians believe “costs” to be one of the biggest problems faced by the present health care system. There is little, if any, consensus on the type of national health insurance program that would work best and there is little agreement on what type of policy reforms will be passed after the 2008 presidential election. The lack of agreement suggests that physicians may not promote a particular program or plan which may weaken their influence on the future direction of the United States’ health care system.