Health Care Reform

Health Care Reform

Rassmussen Reports, January 11, 2010

17% Expect Health Care Plan To Lower Costs, 57% Expect Costs to Go Up

Voter expectations that the health care legislation before Congress will become law have reached a new high, but most are still opposed to the plan.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that just 17% believe passage of the legislation will achieve the stated goal of reducing health care costs. Fifty-seven percent (57%) think it will lead to higher costs.

Fifty-two percent (52%) also believe passage of the legislation will lead to a decline in the quality of care.

Overall, 40% of voters nationwide favor the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. Fifty-five percent (55%) are opposed. As has been the case throughout the debate, those who feel strongly about the issue are more likely to be opposed. Just 19% of voters Strongly Favor the plan while 45% are Strongly Opposed.

Rasmussen Reports tracks support for the health care plan weekly and releases new findings every Monday morning.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

When it comes to paying for the plan, voters are okay with taxing the rich but strongly reject cuts in Medicare and excise taxes on “Cadillac” health plans provided by employers. Adding to concerns about paying for the plan is the fact that 78% expect it to cost more than projected. Voters overwhelmingly believe passage of the plan will increase the federal deficit and lead to middle class tax hikes.

Both support and opposition for the plan have changed little since Thanksgiving (see question wording and trends). Eighty-six percent (86%) of liberals favor the plan, and 82% of conservatives oppose it. Among political moderates, 48% are in favor, and 40% are opposed.

Despite the ongoing public opposition, 69% say it’s at least somewhat likely that the bill will pass. That figure is up four points from a week ago and includes 31% who say passage is Very Likely.

While most Americans oppose the overall plan, two reforms in the plan are supported by more than 70% of the public — creating a new national insurance exchange and requiring health insurance companies to accept applicants with pre-existing conditions. Some other parts of the plan are popular as well. Still, polling data released two weeks ago showed that reminding voters of what’s in the plan does not increase support for it.

From the beginning of the health care debate, a major challenge has been the fact that most Americans have health insurance and are generally happy with their coverage. However, 52% of voters fear that they could be forced to change insurance if the health care legislation passes.

Also consistent throughout the health care debate has been the partisan nature of the response. The latest numbers show that 72% of Democrats favor the plan while 83% of Republicans oppose it. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 30% are in support of the plan, and 60% are opposed.

Most voters favor the ban on abortion coverage for insurance plans that receive federal subsidies, and 47% believe each state should have the right to opt out of the federal plan if it passes. On a related topic, 34% favor a single-payer national health insurance system.

Read the original article here: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/september_2009/health_care_reform

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