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In The News: Americans Want Health Insurance Reform Now

Posted on by Karina

Recent polls and studies continue to find significant support for health insurance reform — even as political attacks and misinformation heat up around America's Affordable Health Choices Act:

A Kaiser Family Foundation poll released today shows support remains strong:

“As has been the case over the past ten months, a majority of the American people (56%) continue to believe that health reform is more important than ever despite the country’s economic problems.”

“The public believes by a two to one margin (51% versus 23%) that the country will be better rather than worse off if Congress and the president enact health reform.

By an almost two to one margin “more Americans think they and their family will be better off (39%) than worse off (21%) if legislation passes.”

“Half (51%) of the public is willing to pay more for expanding health coverage–up ten percentage points from last month.”

64% support “increasing taxes for families making more than $250,000 annually.”

59% support “creating a government -administered public health insurance option similar to Medicare to compete with private insurance plans.” [7/23/09]

A new Gallup poll reports more and more are going without insurance with an “uptick in the percentage of uninsured adults over the last year and a half”:

The percentage of uninsured averaged 14.8% among the approximately 350,000 adults interviewed in 2008, and rose to 16.2% among the 178,000 adults interviewed in the first six months of this year… From November 2008 through May 2009, Gallup found increases in the percentage of Americans reporting that they did not have coverage — with the percentage uninsured reaching a high of 16.6% in May.

Today, Business Week reported on a study showing the connection between health care costs and jobs losses:

In a first-of-its-kind study… [non-profit Rand Corporation] researchers examined the economic performance of 38 industries from 1987 through 2005, in an attempt to assess the economic impact of “excess” growth in health care costs on U.S. industries… Economy-wide, a 10% increase in excess health care costs growth would result in about 120,800 fewer jobs, $28 billion in lost revenues, and $14 billion in lost GDP value.”

Pollster Mark Mellman writes in The Hill that there is an overwhelming consensus for a public plan:

… a public plan generates barely a ripple of controversy among voters. In the last two months, no fewer than eight polls have found strong majorities favoring a public plan. When different pollsters, using different methods and different wording, all converge on the same answer, you can bet the public really does support a public option …

“… a survey sponsored by a bevy of corporations and conducted for the Employee Benefit Research Institute found 83 percent in favor of 'creating a new public health insurance plan that anyone can purchase.' Just 14 percent opposed a public plan.

“Quinnipiac also asked a simple question, unburdened by arguments on either side, which found supporters of a public plan outnumbering opponents by a 43-point margin.”

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