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Support for Massachusetts landmark health reform law rises in 2011
Date:6/6/2011

A new poll by the Harvard School of Public Health and The Boston Globe finds 63% of Massachusetts residents support the health care reform legislation enacted in 2006, 21% oppose it while 6% are not sure and 9% have not heard or read about the law. The percentage of residents supporting the law has increased since a 2009 poll (53%).[1] Support for the law varied by party affiliation, with 77% of Democrats, 60% of Independents, and 40% of Republicans saying they support the legislation. The poll was conducted May 24-26, 2011.

Despite a difficult financial environment in the state, the poll found that 74% want the law to continue, with 51% favoring continuing it with some changes and 23% continuing it as is. Only 9% of state residents favored repealing the health reform law. There has been virtually no change in those wanting to repeal the legislation since the 2009 poll (10%).1

A central piece of the legislation is a mandate for all uninsured Massachusetts residents to purchase health insurance or pay a fine, with some exemptions and financial support for low-income residents. Support is lower for the mandate provision than for the overall law. About half (51%) of Massachusetts residents say they support this mandate, while 44% oppose it.

"The picture of how the Massachusetts health care law is working out is different than many national commentators suggest. Most people in Massachusetts approve of this law, and it hasn't negatively affected them," said Robert Blendon, Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Impact of the Law on Individuals

The principal intent of the Massachusetts legislation was to provide health coverage for nearly all of the state's residents, and Massachusetts now is the only state where nearly all of the population has health insurance coverage. The poll found that 68% of residents thought the health reform law was successful in reduci
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Contact: Todd Datz
tdatz@hsph.harvard.edu
617-432-8413
Harvard School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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