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56% Still View Health Care Law Unfavorably

Monday, January 13, 2014

The new national health care law remains unpopular with most voters who still want freedom of choice when it comes to how much health insurance coverage they carry.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 41% of Likely U.S. Voters rate the new law at least somewhat favorably, while 56% share an unfavorable opinion of it. This includes 15% with a Very Favorable view and nearly three times as many (42%) with a Very Unfavorable one. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Unfavorables hit an all-time high of 58% in mid-November. Favorables fell to a record low of 36% in that same survey.

However, voters are now evenly divided over whether the government should require every health insurance company and health insurance plan to cover the exact same set of medical procedures. Thirty-nine percent (39%) say yes, 40% no. Twenty-one percent (21%) are undecided.

Support for a government-mandated level of coverage fell to a low of 33% last month from a high of 42% in early September. Opposition has increased since the law’s rollout in October but is down slightly from a high of 43% in December.

Eighty-one percent (81%) of voters continue to believe that individuals should be able to choose between different types of insurance plans, including those with higher deductibles and lower premiums or lower deductibles and higher premiums. Just eight percent (8%) disagree.

Seventy percent (70%) think individuals should be able to choose between different types of medical plans, including those that cost more and cover just about all procedures or those that cost less and only cover major procedures. Thirteen percent (13%) disagree, while slightly more (16%) are undecided.

Support for individual choice in both cases is down slightly from regular surveys in recent months.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on January 11-12, 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.

Voters continue to give their own health care high marks but remain critical of the overall health care system in this country. For the first time in nearly a year, however, fewer than 50% expect the health care system to get worse under Obamacare.

Seventy-one percent (71%) of voters also still think employers and individuals should be allowed to buy insurance plans across state lines, something that is now prohibited by law. Seventeen percent (17%) believe they should only be allowed to buy plans approved for their state. Twelve percent (12%) are not sure. This is slightly higher support for state-only plans than has been found in past surveys.

Democrats continue to strongly favor the health care law, while Republicans and unaffiliated voters disapprove of it just as strongly. Fifty-six percent (56%) of Democrats support a government-mandated level of health insurance coverage, while 59% of GOP voters are opposed. Unaffiliateds are evenly divided.

But sizable majorities of all three groups favor choice options when it comes to how much health insurance coverage to have and how much it costs. Most also favor allowing the purchase of health insurance across state lines.

Younger voters remain bigger fans of the health care law than those 40 and older are. Unmarried voters like the law more than those who are married.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of government employees view the law favorably, compared to 35% of those who work for a private company.

Voters who like the health care law are much less supportive of health insurance choices than those who oppose Obamacare.

Opposition to the law’s requirement that every American buy or obtain health insurance has hit an all-time high of 58%. Because of the problems surrounding the rollout of the health care law since October 1, the Obama administration announced just before Christmas that this individual mandate will be delayed for several months for some Americans.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor earlier this month delayed implementation of the new law’s requirement that every employer offer its women employees a health care plan that includes free birth control. Religious groups and some employers are challenging the law in court as a violation of their religious beliefs. Voters by a 51% to 38% margin oppose the health care law’s contraceptive mandate.

Twenty-seven percent (27%) say their health insurance coverage has changed because of the law.

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

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