KFF Poll: U.S. Residents Divided on Support for Federal Health Reform
Public support for the federal health reform law is split nearly evenly, with 42% of U.S. residents holding a favorable view of the overhaul and 43% viewing it unfavorably, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll released on Thursday, Kaiser Health News reports (Werber Serafini, Kaiser Health News, 3/1).
The Kaiser Health Tracking Poll -- which surveyed 1,519 U.S. residents between Feb. 13 and Feb. 19 -- also found that respondents trust President Obama to make the best decisions about the future of the law more than any of the GOP presidential candidates. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they trust Obama, compared with between 33% and 43% for his GOP challengers (Sanger-Katz, National Journal, 3/1).
Most U.S. Residents Oppose Changes to Medicare
Meanwhile, the survey found that 70% of all respondents and 53% of Republican respondents said they favor the Medicare program "as it is today," Kaiser Health News reports.
The poll found that 25% of respondents and 39% of Republicans said they back a premium-support model for the program. Premium support plans have been proposed by House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and by several GOP presidential candidates, including Mitt Romney (Kaiser Health News, 3/1).
The survey also found that:
- 62% of respondents said a presidential candidate's position on Medicare is only "one of many important factors" to affect their vote, while 23% said they would vote only for a candidate who shares their views on the issue (Zigmond, Modern Healthcare, 3/1);
- 63% of respondents over age 65 support raising the Medicare eligibility age gradually from 65 to 67, compared with just 43% of those under age 50;
- 54% of respondents support limiting premium increases for high-income seniors, compared with 46% of Republicans; and
- 43% of elderly residents trust Democrats more to handle Medicare, while 36% have more faith in Republicans (Kaiser Health News, 3/1).
Majority of U.S. Residents Support Contraceptive Coverage Rules
The poll found that 63% of respondents back the Obama administration's contraceptive coverage rules under the health reform law, CQ HealthBeat reports.
However, respondents were nearly evenly split on how to frame the debate over the contraceptive coverage rules: 23% call it an issue of religious freedom, while 24% view it as a women's rights issue.
The survey also found that:
- 33% of respondents oppose the requirement (Bristol, CQ HealthBeat, 3/1);
- 85% of Democrats, 67% of independents and 42% of Republicans support the requirement (Kaiser Health News, 3/1);
- 73% of women under age 50 and 68% of men in the same age range were strong supporters of the mandate; and
- 42% of Republican men and women over age 50 support the requirement (CQ HealthBeat, 3/1).