But not everyone agreed with the poll results. Robert Moffit is director of the Center for Health Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based conservative think tank. He believes that the poll did not provide respondents with the necessary context to give truly informed answers.
"This kind of polling doesn't really talk very specifically about the kinds of trade-offs that people will have to make" should the Obama reforms go through, Moffitt said. "For example, the Congressional Budget Office has found that if the government negotiates [drug] pricing -- if the government fixes prices for drugs below whatever the market is -- this will mean that the government will then have to ration drugs. So, are you now in favor of that as a policy?"
Moffitt believes the answers people provide to pollsters might be different if they had that kind of context. "There are necessary trade-offs that are involved in health policy," he said, "but [those polled] don't know what the trade-offs entail."
For his part, Taylor said that the public's views on the Obama health care plan will undoubtedly change once they are held up to scrutiny in Congress and the media.
"Right now, we are getting positive responses to a concept and some language," he said. "But, of course, that could change once these ideas get out on the table and are discussed."
For more on President Obama's views on health care reform, visit barackobama.com.
SOURCES: Humphrey Taylor, chairman, The Harris Poll, Rochester, N.Y.; Bruce Auerbach, M.D., president, Massachusetts Medical Society, Waltham, Mass; Robert Moffitt, Ph.D., director, Center for Heath Policy Studies, The Heritage Foundation, Washington, D.C.;
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