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Voters Still Strongly Favor Health Insurance Choice Based on Costs

Monday, March 24, 2014

Voters still don’t like the new national health care law but are more supportive of government-mandated health insurance standards as long as consumers still can choose the kind of plan they want based on costs and coverage.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 42% of Likely U.S. Voters have at least a somewhat favorable view of Obamacare, while 54% view it unfavorably. This includes 16% with a Very Favorable opinion of the new law and 42% with a Very Unfavorable one. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

This is little changed from two weeks ago and consistent with weekly surveying since last May. Unfavorables hit a high of 58% in mid-November. Favorables fell to a record low of 36% in that same survey.

But voters by a 42% to 36% margin now agree that the government should require every health insurance company and health insurance plan to cover the exact same set of medical procedures. Twenty-two percent (22%) are not sure. This marks the highest support for government-mandated coverage since last September, but opposition still remains higher than it was for most of last year.

Unchanged from previous surveys, however, is the high level of voter support for individual choice when it comes to buying health insurance. Seventy percent (70%) still believe individuals should have the right to choose between different types of health insurance plans, including some that cost more and cover just about all medical procedures and some that cost less while covering only major medical procedures. Just 12% disagree, although another 18% are not sure.

Even more emphatically, 84% think individuals should have the right to choose between different health insurance plans, including some with higher deductibles and lower premiums and others with lower deductibles and higher premiums. Seven percent (7%) oppose this degree of choice, while 10% are undecided.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of voters expect the cost of health care to go up under the new law

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on March 22-23, 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.

Nearly 90% of voters say they have health insurance, and 79% rate that coverage as good or excellent

One-in-three U.S. voters now says his or her health insurance coverage has changed as a result of Obamacare, and the same number say the new national health care law had a negative personal impact on them. 

Seventy-five percent (75%) of voters believe employers and individuals buying health insurance should be allowed to buy plans across state lines. This is down only slightly from last month’s high of 77%. Just 12% now disagree. Just as many (13%) are not sure.

Democrats continue to have a much more favorable opinion of the health care law and remain much stronger supporters of government-mandated health insurance standards than Republicans and unaffiliated voters are.

But voters in all three groups still strongly favor health insurance choice based on costs and levels of coverage. They also are in general agreement that employers and individuals should be allowed to buy health insurance across state lines, something that is not allowed under the new law.

Women are bigger fans of Obamacare than men are. Support for the new law remains higher among those under 40 than among their elders.

Seventy-seven percent (77%) of voters with a Very Favorable view of Obamacare favor government-required levels of health insurance coverage. Among those who view the law Very Unfavorably, 62% are opposed to such standards.

Voters remain almost evenly divided over the new government requirement that every American must have health insurance

Fifty-three percent (53%) expect the health care system to get worse under Obamacare, a finding that has ranged from 48% to 61% in regular surveys since late 2012. 

Sixty percent (60%) believe most of the current problems with the health care law are unlikely to be fixed within the next year, with 35% who say it’s Not At All Likely. 

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

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