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Voters Still Support Allowing Health Insurance To Be Sold Across State Lines

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

There’s even stronger support for House Republicans’ proposal to allow Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines, but voters remain divided on proposed reforms for medical liability and malpractice.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 76% of Likely U.S. Voters think employers and individuals should be allowed to buy health insurance plans across state lines. That’s up from 66% last June and is just one point below the highest finding in surveys since early 2013. Just 15% believe instead that employers and individuals should only be allowed to buy plans approved for their state, currently all that is permitted under Obamacare. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

But only 42% think the government should limit the amount of money a jury can award a plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit, though that’s up slightly from 37% in the previous survey. Nearly as many (39%) say there should be no such limits, while 19% are undecided. The House Republican bill would impose new limits on lawsuits involving care covered by Medicare, Medicaid or private health insurance subsidized by Obamacare in an effort to reduce the impact of “frivolous lawsuits that unnecessarily drive up health care costs.

Last June, 45% of voters said that it is too easy to sue a doctor for medical malpractice in this country, while 24% said it’s too hard.

A separate survey finds that among adults who visit a doctor regularly, 93% trust that doctor

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The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on May 11 and 14, 2017 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.

As President Trump and the Republicans’ new health care plan makes its way through the Senate, voters admit they like the health care they’re currently receiving but still see the need to fix Obamacare.

There’s strong support across most demographic groups for allowing employers and individuals to buy health insurance plans across state lines. Democrats are less supportive of this proposal compared to Republicans and voters not affiliated with either party.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of Republican voters support limits on the amount of money a jury can award a plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit, but just over half of Democrats (51%) are opposed. Unaffiliated voters are more evenly divided on this question.

Voters under 40 are less supportive of this measure compared to their elders.

Voters feel more strongly than ever that reducing health care costs is more important than mandating health insurance coverage for everyone.

Voters also tend to believe it’s the government’s job to make sure Americans have health care, even though they doubt the government will do it fairly and question whether taxpayers can afford it. 

Support for a single-payer health care system reached a new high despite voters’ views that it will increase health care costs and hurt the quality of care.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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