Poll Reveals Broad Support for Government Health Care

Results suggest partisan divide
By Amelia Atlas,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2009 3:55 AM CDT
Poll Reveals Broad Support for Government Health Care
A stack of documents comprising the health care reform bill and its amendments are seen at the seat of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., June 17, 2009, before a markup hearing of the Senate Health Committee.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Seventy-two percent of Americans support a government-backed health care plan that would compete with private insurance providers, a New York Times/CBS poll reveals. A majority of Americans also believe the government would keep costs down more effectively than private insurers, and 64% think the government should guarantee its citizens health coverage—a percentage that has remained stable for many years.

Opinions on the issue remain heavily partisan: 61% of Republicans believe health care is not the government's responsibility, and more Republicans are concerned about the government's ability to control costs. Personal cost was also a factor among all respondents: 57% were okay with a tax hike to underwrite universal coverage, but when faced with an actual price tag of $500 more per year, that number dropped to 43%.
(Read more health care reform stories.)

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