Monday, February 24, 2014
Voters remain almost evenly divided over the new government requirement that every American must have health insurance, while support for a single-payer government-run health care system is at its highest level in over a year.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 44% of Likely U.S. Voters think the federal government should require every American to buy or obtain health insurance. Forty-six percent (46%) oppose this so-called individual mandate that is part of the new national health care law. Ten percent (10%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
That’s comparable to last month when 42% favored the individual insurance requirement, and 43% were opposed. But opposition was down 15 points from 58% in December.
Most voters have opposed the mandate from the start, and a high of 69% said in November 2011 that the government does not have the constitutional authority to force everyone to buy or obtain health insurance. In late June 2012, however, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the health care law’s constitutionality.
Forty percent (40%) of voters also now support a single-payer health care system where the federal government provides health insurance coverage for everyone. That’s up three points from 37% in January and the highest level of support since December 2012. Slightly more voters (46%) still oppose a single-payer system. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided.
Fifty-nine percent (59%) are now aware whether their state has created an exchange for the sale of health insurance as part of the health care law. Awareness has been steadily growing from a low of 32% in January of last year.
Unchanged from last month are the 12% of voters who say they or a member of their immediate family has bought health insurance through one of these exchanges.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on February 22-23, 2014 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Just over half still have an unfavorable opinion of the health care law, and voters continue to strongly support having a variety of choices when it comes to purchasing health insurance.
Men oppose the individual mandate more strongly than women do. Middle-aged voters are more enthusiastic about the mandate this month than those in other age groups. Blacks are far more supportive of it than whites and other minority voters.
Most Democrats still support the individual mandate. Most Republicans and voters not affiliated with either major party still oppose it.
While 64% of voters in President Obama’s party like the idea of a single-payer government-run health care system, 80% of GOP voters and 50% of unaffiliated voters are opposed.
Fifteen percent (15%) of Democrats say they or an immediate family member have signed up for health insurance through one of the new exchanges. That compares to nine percent (9%) each of Republicans and unaffiliateds.
Voters in the Tea Party are twice as likely as those not associated with that movement to oppose the individual mandate.
Fifty-nine percent (59%) of the Political Class favor a single-payer health care system. Fifty-six percent (56%) of Mainstream voters oppose it.
Voters' ratings for the president’s handling of health care issues have rebounded since the disastrous weeks following the rollout of Obamacare on October 1. Forty-one percent (41%) now give Obama good or excellent marks for his handling of issues related to health care, while only slightly more (46%) rate him poorly in this area.
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