As massage grows in popularity and stature, more massage therapists find work within the medical system. A new survey shows that 75 percent of Americans expect the U.S. health care system to be changed soon.

Three-quarters of Americans (75 percent) and health industry leaders (79 percent) expect major health care reform legislation to be passed in the first term of Barack Obama’s presidency, according to findings of new polling released Nov. 20 by the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC).

Approximately one-half of Americans polled are fearful they will not be able to afford health insurance (57 percent) or seek medical attention (52 percent) when they need it. Reducing costs in health care reform is the first health priority Americans want President-elect Obama to address, while expansion of health care coverage is the first priority among health care industry leaders.

The PwC/NACHRI polling “Perspectives on Priorities: A Survey of American Consumer and Industry Influencers on Health Care Reform Under the Obama Administration” asked the opinions of 1,000 American adults and more than 800 health industry influencers, including policy makers and executives from hospitals, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, associations and other major employers.

“It’s clear that Americans and health industry leaders have reached a tipping point toward major health care reform,” said Lawrence McAndrews, president and CEO of the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) “Yet these groups don’t always agree on priorities. The two agendas – reducing costs and expanding access – may compete unless cost containment strategies are put in place and greater public-private collaboration is sought.”