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58% Oppose Health Care Law’s Individual Mandate

Opposition to Obamacare's requirement that every American must have health insurance has risen to its highest level ever.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 33% of Likely U.S. Voters still believe the government should require every American to buy or obtain health insurance, showing little change from November. But 58% oppose that mandate, up from 54% last month and the highest level of opposition to date. Ten percent (10%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Most voters have opposed the individual 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 of last year, however, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the health care law’s constitutionality. 

National and state government exchanges, established by the health care law to offer health insurance, were plagued with problems after the plan’s rollout on October 1. In late October, voters by a 51% to 34% margin favored delaying the individual mandate because of these problems.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of voters now know whether their state has established such an exchange, up from 51% in November. Twenty-four percent (24%) say they still do not know if their state has such an exchange, and just as many (22%) are not sure. Awareness about the exchanges has risen steadily since the beginning of the year.

Eight percent (8%) of those surveyed now say they or someone in their immediate family has bought insurance through a new exchange, up from four percent (4%) a month ago.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on December 14-15, 2013 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.

Strong negative opinions of the new health care law are also at their highest yet as opposition to the government requiring every insurance plan to cover the exact same set of medical procedures grows.

Thirty-five percent (35%) of voters favor a single-payer health care system where the federal government provides coverage for everyone, showing little change from the previous survey. Forty-seven percent (47%) now oppose a government-run health care system, but that's down from 51% in November. Another 17% are undecided.

Thirty-eight percent (38%) of voters under 40 favor the health insurance mandate, compared to 31% of middle-age adults and 28% of senior citizens. Younger voters also show more support for a single-payer system than their elders do.

While most Republicans (84%) and voters not affiliated with either major political party (62%) oppose the mandate, 57% of Democrats are in favor of it.

The Political Class is evenly divided when asked about the individual mandate, while most Mainstream voters are opposed to it.

Eighty-seven percent (87%) of all voters are following news of the health care law at least somewhat closely, including 55% who are following Very Closely. 

Voters by a 51% to 38% margin also oppose the health care law’s requirement that employers provide health insurance with free contraceptives for their female employees.  In the latest major legal challenge to the law, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether businesses can opt out of that requirement for religious reasons.

Only 37% believe it’s at least somewhat likely that the current problems with the new national health care law will be fixed within the next year.

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

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on December 14-15, 2013 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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