Public Doesn't Want to Pay for Health Care Fix

Americans support goals, but not if it will cost them personally
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2009 10:17 AM CST
Public Doesn't Want to Pay for Health Care Fix
Protesters rail against health care reform outside Swedish Medical Center where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Americans are enthusiastic about health care reform, but only as long as it doesn't drive up the price of their own premiums, a new AP poll finds. Whenever questions were framed broadly, voters seemed to support Democrats’ plans, but when asked about specific trade-offs they balked. A whopping 82%, for example, favor a law requiring insurers to accept everyone regardless or pre-existing conditions. But when told that such a law would increase premiums, only 43% said they supported it.

In another seemingly schizophrenic example, 67% said they supported requiring everyone to buy some insurance, but 64% said they’d be opposed to federal penalties for people who didn’t comply. “I think it’s crazy,” said one respondent. “It infringes on our rights as a citizen.” Similarly, 73% said they supported requiring employers to cover employees, but only 52% supported fining those who didn’t. Overall, 43% say they oppose the plans currently in Congress, while 41% support them. (Read more health care reform stories.)

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