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54% Say States Should Have Right To Opt Out of Health Care Law

Friday, February 04, 2011

More than half the states are challenging the constitutionality of the new federal health care law in court, many focusing on the requirement that every American must have health insurance. More voters than ever oppose that requirement and think states should have the right to opt out of some or all of the health care law.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 39% of Likely U.S. Voters at least somewhat favor a federal law that requires every American to buy or obtain health insurance, while 58% at least somewhat oppose such a requirement. The new findings include 21% who Strongly Favor the requirement versus 44% who are Strongly Opposed. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Most voters have expressed skepticism about requiring all Americans to obtain health insurance since the debate over health care began heating up early in the Obama presidency. Opposition is up five points from last March just after Democrats in Congress passed the health care law with that mandate.

Fifty-four percent (54%) of voters now say individual states should have the right to opt out of the entire health care plan, up from 47% in December 2009. Thirty percent (30%) disagree and say states should not be able to do that. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure.

Similarly, 54% think states should have the right to opt out of portions of the plan they disagree with, while 31% feel states should not be allowed to partially opt out. Again, 15% are undecided.

There’s wide disagreement between the Political Class and Mainstream voters. Nearly seven-out-of-10 Mainstream voters say states should have the right to opt out of some or all of the health care plan, but just as many of those in the Political Class disagree and oppose allowing states that right.

But then 85% of Political Class voters favor the requirement that every American must obtain health insurance, while 74% of those in the Mainstream are opposed to it.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on February 2 - 3, 2011 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.


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