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New Poll Warns Daschle, Obama: Mandatory Health Insurance Big Loser With Public; Voters Want Return on Stem Cell Research
Date:12/11/2008

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Less than 15% of U.S. voters support, and 53% oppose, a proposal pushed by health insurers requiring every American to provide proof of private health insurance or face tax penalties or other fines, according to a new poll. The poll, conducted by Consumer Watchdog, also found that by just under a two-to-one margin voters favor requiring a return on taxpayer-funded research that leads to new medical treatments or prescription drugs.

Download the poll here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/healthcarepollmemo.pdf. The poll is based on 840 interviews among registered voters in the United States conducted on December 4 thru December 7, 2008. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points at the 95% level of confidence.

President-elect Obama opposed policies requiring all Americans to buy private health insurance coverage, the so-called "individual mandate," as a candidate. Senator Tom Daschle left open the possibility of his support for the approach in his book, "Critical," under the pretense that he is "not willing to sacrifice worthy improvements on the altar of perfection." Unlike plans pushed by health insurers, Daschle's proposal importantly would give Americans access to a public insurance program "modeled after Medicare."

Overall, 40% of voters say they are "strongly" opposed to mandating that "every American show proof that they have health insurance coverage or face tax penalties." Less than 15% say they would support it. Another 31% are undecided. Opposition is also strongest in the West (61% oppose; 16% favor), North Central states (54% oppose; 16% favor), the South (51% oppose; 13% favor) and in the Northeast (45% oppose; 18% favor). Download a detailed breakdown of the poll returns here:

SOURCE Consumer Watchdog
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