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Most Americans Continue to Support Moving Ahead With Health Care Reform Now Despite Town Hall Fights and Ad Campaigns
Date:8/19/2009

lth reform might affect them personally; a majority (53%) say they and their family would be better off if health reform passed.

Support for Individual Reform Proposals Remains High, and Expanding and Subsidizing Coverage and Insurance Reform Top the List of Most Important Goals

Despite the increasingly passionate debate this summer, public backing for key individual elements of health reform remains steady. Substantial majorities continue to say they support individual reform components designed to expand coverage, including a public plan option (59%), an expansion of state programs such as Medicaid (80%), an individual mandate (68%) and an employer mandate (68%).

Asked which elements of health reform are the "most important" to them, members of the public cited expanding and subsidizing health coverage to Americans who have been unable to afford it as their top choice (32%), followed by insurance reform (24%), and strengthening prevention programs (19%). Reining in the amount of money the country spends on health care came in fourth (9%).

Attention to the Debate

There is heightened attention to health reform, with 33 percent of Americans saying they are following the debate "very closely", up from 27 percent in July. Those who think they personally will be worse off if health reform is enacted are more likely to say they are following the debate "very closely" than those who think they personally will be better off (55% to 30%).

Moreover, with the ad wars becoming more intense, there has been a big spike in the share of Americans who say they have seen a health care reform-related ad over the course of the past week. Nearly half (45%) say they have seen, heard or read some sort of message on health reform, pro or con, over the past seven days, up from 31 percent last month and 21 percent in June. So far the pro-reform ads have a sl
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SOURCE Henry J. Kaiser Foundation
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