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70% Favor Individual Choice Over Government Standards for Health Insurance

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

An independent panel advising the Obama administration released its recommendations last week on how the government should determine what level of coverage most health insurance policies should be required to have. But voters strongly oppose a government-mandated level of health insurance coverage.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 25% of Likely U.S. Voters think it is more important for the federal government to determine a minimum level of health insurance that all Americans must buy rather than letting individuals choose their own plan. Seventy percent (70%) disagree and say it is more important to give individuals the right to select their own health insurance plans. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Seventy-six percent (76%) believe that people should be allowed to buy health insurance coverage for issues like unexpected surgeries or cancer but pay for routine doctor visits on their own without insurance. Just 12% say Americans should not be able to buy only major medical insurance and pay out-of-pocket for routine doctor visits. Another 12% are not sure.

Only 28% of voters believe having the government establish a single set of standards and regulations for health care would do more to reduce health care costs than letting individuals shop around for the type of health insurance coverage they want. Sixty-five percent (65%) think letting individuals shop around for coverage would do more to reduce costs.

The creation of minimum levels of coverage for most health insurance policies stems from the national health care law passed by Congress in March of last year. Most voters continue to favor repeal of that law, as they have in every survey but one since its passage, and believe it will drive up health care costs.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on October 8-9, 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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