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12th Annual Health Confidence Survey: Americans Show Support for Several Health Coverage Options, But Their Views Could Change as More Details Emerge
Date:6/11/2009

WASHINGTON, June 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Congress prepares to debate a major overhaul of the nation's health care system, Americans already have formed opinions in support of several proposals to expand coverage that have been part of the preliminary discussion, according to the 12th annual Health Confidence Survey released today. But attitudes could change as the public learns more about the details.

Between 68 percent and 88 percent of Americans either strongly or somewhat support health reform ideas such as national health plans, a public plan option, guaranteed issue, expansion of Medicare and Medicaid, and employer and individual mandates, the survey finds. Reaction to capping the current tax exclusion of employment-based health benefits is mixed.

Full details of the 2009 Health Confidence Survey appear in the July 2009 EBRI Issue Brief, published by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), and available at www.ebri.org The survey is co-sponsored by EBRI and Mathew Greenwald & Associates, a market research firm. The Issue Brief is being released early so the results will be available to policymakers as they consider changes in the U.S. health care system this summer.

Survey respondents were asked their reaction to a number of options to expand coverage "in order to make sure all Americans have access to health insurance." Here are the results:

  • 88 percent support (strongly or somewhat) allowing major health insurance companies to offer national plans that anyone can purchase.
  • 83 percent support a new public plan option that anyone could purchase.
  • 80 percent support requiring insurers to cover anyone who applies -- so-called "guaranteed issue."
  • 75 percent support expanding Medicare and Medic
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SOURCE Employee Benefit Research Institute
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