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A surprising report takes the pulse of American attitudes toward government-guaranteed health coverage


Few public opinion polls have taken America’s temperature on whether government-guaranteed health insurance, as a principle, is a worthy government endeavor. A new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI, a research arm of the Broookings Institution, did that.

The authors found that many Democratic-leaning groups outside the party’s core are ambivalent about government’s role. Top-of-mind:

o Government-guaranteed health insurance is supported by the Democratic Party’s core constituencies: 70 percent of liberals, 62 percent of Blacks, and 55 percent of the religiously unaffiliated feel at least somewhat strongly that government should guarantee health insurance for all citizens.

o But when asked if they have a very or somewhat favorable or very or somewhat unfavorable opinion of the 2010 health reform bill: 56 percent of 18 to 29 year olds, 52 percent of women, 62 percent of independents, and 53 percent of moderates have a very or somewhat unfavorable opinion of the bill.  Strong minorities of Hispanics (42 percent) and post-graduates (41 percent) share this view.

o Only 41 percent of women and 35 percent of independents endorse the principal of government-guaranteed healthcare, while 34 percent of women and 29 percent of independents think individuals should be responsible for their own coverage.

o An additional 23 percent of women and 25 percent of independents do not feel strongly either way. Only about half of Hispanics and those with post-graduate degrees (49 percent) support the notion of government-guaranteed health insurance, though of the 49 percent of Hispanics who favor a government role, 30 percent felt very strongly this way

See an interactive view of the research findings here



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