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Public Opinion on Health Reform Stable and Supportive as Debate Heats Up, But Moveable Too
Date:6/15/2009

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  • Only about two in ten people reported seeing an ad related to health reform and most who did thought the ad was pro-reform.
  • Perhaps reflecting the public's general perceptions of these groups on health reform from past debates -- and despite the fact that they have been very publicly at the table so far on health reform -- substantial majorities said that big business groups (64%), health insurers (62%), drug companies (58%), and doctors groups (54%) are NOT supporting the president's and Congress' effort to reform health care this year.
  • A narrow majority of the public (53%) supported limiting future increases in how much doctors and hospitals are paid under Medicare to help pay for health reform (37% opposed). A majority (56%) of those under 65 supported this while only four in ten (40%) of those age 65 or older did. Reductions in future increases in Medicare payments are thought to be an important potential part of a health reform financing package.
  • A large majority (70%) liked the idea of insurance exchanges -- tested with different descriptions -- as a way to help people purchase insurance on their own. Exchanges are a key part of the legislation being debated.

  • Disagreement Remains on Willingness to Pay for Health Reform

    With financing health reform looming as a key challenge, the survey focused several questions on this issue.

    • The public remains divided in their willingness to pay more to expand coverage to the uninsured, with a slight majority (54%) saying they are not personally willing to pay more to expand coverage.
    • Six in ten Americans (60%) continue to say that if policymakers made the right changes the health care system could be reformed without spending more money to do it.
    • Slightly more than half (54%) of Americans oppose taxing the employer sponsored heal
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    SOURCE Kaiser Family Foundation
    Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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