Idahoans’ greatest concerns revolve around health care costs and expanding health coverage to more folks, a recent public opinion poll commissioned by Idaho Politics Weekly shows.

The Dan Jones & Associates survey asked, on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “not very” important and 5 being “very” important, what they felt about a variety of issues facing Idahoans today.

Health care was ranked as the most important issue citizens are concerned about.

Pollsters found:

-- 81 percent said lowering health care costs was very important to them.

-- Only 5 percent said it was not that important.

-- While 14 percent said they were “neutral,” not feeling one way or the other.

Likewise, expanding health coverage to more Idahoans is the second-most important issue among those named by Jones. Perhaps that is why Idahoans voted in the November election to expand Medicaid to more low-income people. According to the survey:

-- 72 percent said expanding health care to others is very important.

-- 12 percent said it was not.

-- And 16 percent were neutral on the issue.

Pollsters found there is real concern among Idahoans about ethics of their elected state and federal officials, as well.

For example:

-- 72 percent said improving the ethics of elected officials is very important.

-- Only 7 percent said it was not.

-- And 21 percent were neutral, or didn’t see the issue as that important

You don’t hear elected officials talking much about their own ethics – but it is an issue among those who put them in office.

Here are some other key issues, and how Idahoans felt about them:

-- Protecting state rights: 71 percent said it was very important, 11 percent said it was not important, 18 percent were neutral.

-- 63 percent said it is important that the price of energy – like gasoline – be reduced, 13 percent said it was not, 25 percent were neutral.

-- Affordable housing: 67 percent said it was important, 12 percent said it was not, 21 percent were neutral.

-- Protecting gun rights: 65 felt that was important, 23 percent said it that was not a very important issue, and 12 percent were neutral.

Other issues are less important to Idahoans:

-- Some 58 percent said decreasing government spending was important, while 18 percent said it was not important and 24 percent were neutral.

-- 54 percent said decreasing taxes was very important; 19 percent said cutting taxes was important, and 26 percent didn’t care one way or the other.

-- Finally, 47 percent said reducing the control of lands by the federal government was important; 32 percent said it was important and 21 percent didn’t care.

So, while state and local officials like to talk about cutting back on the control of lands in Idaho by federal officials, that was not one of the most important issues that citizens themselves ranked among the issues of the day.

Dan Jones & Associates polled 632 adults from Sept. 26 to Oct. 8. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.87 percent.

A new poll by Idaho Politics Weekly will be in the field soon, with those results to be published over the next few weeks.