Tracking Poll Examines Public Opinion About Health Care Reform
Kaiser Health Tracking Poll -- April 2009, Kaiser Family Foundation: According to the latest poll, a majority of U.S. residents say that they or a member of their household has delayed or gone without health care services in the past year. In addition, 59% of U.S. residents believe health care reform is now more important than ever, while 37% say reform would be too costly to attempt during the current economic climate, the poll shows. It also finds that about two-thirds (67%) of U.S. residents "strongly" or "somewhat" favor establishing a public health insurance option "similar to Medicare," with about 80% of Democrats, 60% of independents and 49% of Republicans in favor of such a plan. However, according to the poll, when those who support a public plan are told that it could cause the government to have an unfair advantage over private insurers, overall support for the public option decreases to 32% in favor and 59% opposed. When supporters are told that public plans would be the first step toward a single-payer system, overall support for a public plan is 41% in favor and 50% opposed. The poll also found that when asked if they support "requiring employers to offer health insurance to their workers or pay money into a government fund," 71% support the concept, but when supporters are presented with a one-sided argument that the mandate could cause some job losses, support falls to 27% and 65% say they would be against it (Kaiser Family Foundation release, 4/23).
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