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TABS Study Identifies Strong Opposition to Health Care Reform

Written by TABS Analytics | May, 27 2011

Opposition Linked to Person's Level of Vitamin and Nutritional Supplement Usage

SHELTON, Conn., May 27, 2011 -- TABS Group, Inc., a leading marketing research and consulting firm has released a new study that points to a 4-to-1 "commitment gap" in the level of support for the recent multi-billion dollar health care reform legislation passed in 2010 by Congress and signed by President Obama. That is, only 8% of those 18 years of age or older noted they are "Very Favorable" to the law, whereas 32% are noted they are "Very Unfavorable," a 4-fold disparity among those with a strong opinion on the matter. What is particularly interesting is the strong opposition to the law among older Americans with 45% Very Unfavorable. Even stronger opposition is found, however, among Americans that are classified as Very Heavy Users of Vitamins and Nutritional Supplements (50% Very Unfavorable).

"We found the strong opposition to the law, in general, to be surprising," commented TABS Group CEO and Founder, Dr. Kurt Jetta, "as the results show much higher negatives than most previous studies have shown. The main difference, I believe, is that we are focusing our conclusions on just those with strong opinions – Very Favorable or Unfavorable. This is a research technique that is common in marketing research, but is less utilized in voter preference research. This method better predicts consumer, or in this case voter, behavior."

When total Favorables vs. Unfavorables are compared, there is still opposition to the law, but the differences are not as extreme: 26% Favorable (Very or Somewhat Favorable, often called Top 2 Box score) vs. 48% Unfavorable (Very or Somewhat Unfavorable, often called Bottom 2 Box Score).

"Every segment of the population we reviewed is against the law, except one: Vitamin Buyers purchasing the category at Health Food stores. This group had a Top 2 Box score of 45% vs. Bottom 2 Box score of 32%, but even their commitment gap was negative: 19% Very Favorable vs. 25% Very Unfavorable," stated Jetta.

Other notable findings of the research:

  • There was a strong correlation between negativity to the law and usage of Supplements. Only 24% of Non-Buyers were Unfavorable, whereas 50% of the Very Heavy Buyers (9% of US Population; 13% of Category Users, and 40% of Category Sales) were Very Unfavorable.
  • Age was also a strong predictor of strong negativity, but not as much as heavy supplement usage. 45% of those Age 60+ were Very Unfavorable to the Health Care law.
  • The highest level of Very Favorable respondents was only at 14%, Americans aged 50-59 years.
  • Men are more likely to be Very Unfavorable than women (36% to 28%), but the level of Very Favorable between the two is roughly the same (9% vs. 8%).
  • The level of ambivalence to the law is highest in the Northeast, where only 28% have a strong opinion one way or the other. By contrast, the West is 37%, Central is 38% and South is 49% of respondents saying Very Favorable or Unfavorable.

"My hypothesis on the correlation between supplement usage and negativity to the Health Care law is that supplement usage is a proxy measurement of the extent to which people are reliant on their own health vs. those looking for external support for health care issues," commented Dr. Jetta.

"From a political standpoint, I believe it is extremely problematic for lawmakers to have an issue where the demographic group with the highest level of voting participation (Age 60+) is the one with the strongest level of opposition to this high visibility law."

About TABS Group, Inc. and the Vitamin Usage Study

The Vitamin Usage study was conducted among 1,000 representative respondents aged 18-75 in the TNS panel. The study was fielded from May 16-19, 2011, and it is replicates a study that was completed in 2005, 2008 and 2010. TABS Group, Inc. is a leading provider of research and consulting services to the consumer products industry. TABS Group, Inc. (www.tabsgroup.com), based in Shelton, CT, has been in business since 1998.

CONTACT: Dr. Kurt Jetta, +1-203-925-9157, kurtjetta@tabsgroup.com