Poll: Most U.S. Adults Back Health Plans by Democratic Candidates
U.S. adults favor health care proposals from Democratic presidential candidates more than plans from Republican candidates, according to a recent Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg survey.
The survey, conducted between Friday and Monday and supervised by Times Poll Director Susan Pinkus, included responses from 1,209 adults, with a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.
According to the survey, 62% favor a requirement that large employers offer health insurance to employees -- a provision included in health care proposals from Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) -- and 31% oppose such a requirement. Fifty-one percent favor a requirement that individuals obtain health insurance -- a provision included in the Clinton and Edwards proposals -- and 39% oppose such a requirement, the survey found.
Forty-four percent favor tax credits to help individuals purchase private health insurance -- a provision included in health care proposals from former New York City Major Rudy Giuliani (R) and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) -- and 45% oppose such tax credits, according to the survey.
In addition, the survey found that 53% favor an expansion of Medicare to all U.S. residents and that 36% oppose such an expansion. The survey also found that 23% cite employers as responsible for the provision of health insurance, compared with 24% who cite individuals and 19% who cite both.
Twenty-nine percent said the government is responsible for securing health insurance. "In one of the most politically significant results, the poll finds that independents and moderates were generally lining up with Democrats in the health care debate," the Times reports (Alonso-Zaldivar/Hook, Los Angeles Times, 10/25).
The survey is available online (.pdf).
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Thursday will appear at a town hall forum in Sioux City, Iowa, that will focus on health care, CongressDaily reports.
According to CongressDaily, the forum -- sponsored by Divided We Fail, a campaign launched by AARP and other groups that seeks to focus the 2008 presidential election on health care and financial security issues -- originally was intended as a "nationally broadcast debate-style production" but "has been downgraded" after Romney and Giuliani declined invitations to appear.
The decision of the candidates not to appear at the forum "might be tied to traditional Republican suspicion about AARP's political leanings" and "underscore that health care policy has not become the key issue" for Republican presidential candidates, CongressDaily reports (Dann et. al., CongressDaily, 10/25).
Clinton on Wednesday delivered the Mary Louise Smith Chair lecture at Iowa State University, during which she said that the federal and state governments should seek to provide working mothers and lower-income workers with more paid leave, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
In addition, she advocated an expansion of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, which currently requires companies with 50 or more employees to allow workers to take unpaid leave to care for sick family members or infants, to companies with 25 or more employees.
Clinton said, "What we have done is to give advantages, again, in our society to higher-paid workers," adding, "I think we need to do more to have a set of family policies that create a context in which you can make the decisions that are best for you" (Lorentzen, AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 10/24).
Giuliani, Romney and McCain earlier this week at a debate sponsored by Fox News Channel and the Republican Party of Florida said they disapproved of the decision by Congress in 2005 to become involved in the Terry Schiavo case, an indication of a "sharp departure from past Republican strategy" on end-of-life care for patients, the Boston Globe
According to Giuliani, the decision on care for Schiavo should have remained with the family. Romney said that the "decision of Congress to get involved was a mistake," and McCain said that Congress "acted too hastily." Huckabee said, "I wasn't sure how the federal government had a role in all that" (Kranish, Boston Globe, 10/25).