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Americans remain divided on government involvement in health insurance, IU survey shows
Date:8/10/2009

INDIANAPOLIS - Researchers from Indiana University's Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research (CHPPR) have found that support for government-sponsored health insurance for individuals under age 65 remains virtually the same regardless of how the plan is described or how involved the government would be.

Many have argued that public support of a government-sponsored health insurance option, such as that being proposed by President Barack Obama, can be significantly influenced by changing how the plan is described or by varying the description of the role government would play.

To test this idea, researchers from CHPPR developed three scenarios that each described a government health insurance plan for individuals under age 65 regardless of employment status. One scenario described an optional "public health insurance plan," another scenario described an optional "health insurance program similar to Medicare," and a third described a scenario where, similar to other countries, everyone received government insurance with an option to supplement with private insurance. Forty-three percent of respondents found the "public health insurance plan" appealing compared to 44 percent for the Medicare-like plan and 39 percent for the single-payer option. The differences between the three options fell within the margin of error.

Support for the public option was strongest among Democrats with 63 percent finding a "public health insurance" plan appealing, 64 percent finding a "Medicare like" plan appealing, and 69 percent finding a single-payer option appealing. On the other hand these options garnered far less support among Republicans with only 29 percent finding a "public health insurance" plan appealing, 30 percent finding a "Medicare like" plan appealing, and 12 percent finding a single-payer option appealing.

Reasons cited for the appeal of the "public health insurance" and "Medicare like" plans included large
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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
317-274-7722
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert  

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