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									TO: Interested Parties FR: Health Care for America Now RE: New Polls Show:  Opposition to mandate without public health insurance option  Opposition to taxing high cost plans – support for progressive revenue measures  Support for employer responsibility Three new polls commissioned by Health Care for America Now found that voters nationally, in swing House districts, and in Maine are opposed to a mandate to buy private health insurance but favor a mandate if they have a choice between private health insurance and a public health insurance option. The polls also show opposition to a tax on high-cost health plans but support for raising revenues through a surcharge on the wealthy and requiring all but the smallest employers to contribute to employees’ health coverage. Support for Individual Mandate Contingent on Public Option: The polls, conducted by Anzalone Liszt Research and Lake Research Partners for Health Care for America Now in mid-September, each found that likely 2010 voters oppose “requiring everyone to buy and be covered by a private health insurance plan” but support “requiring everyone to buy and be covered by a health insurance plan with a choice between a public option and private insurance plans.” A mandate that individuals have coverage or pay a fine is a key feature of health care reform proposals that require insurance companies to cover everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions. Nationally, voters oppose a mandate to purchase private insurance by 64% to 34% but support a mandate with a choice of private or public insurance by 60% to 37%.
National “Requiring everyone to buy and be covered by a private health insurance plan” Oppose 64% to 34% House Swing Oppose 60% to 34% Maine Oppose 55% to 35%

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“Requiring everyone to buy and be covered by a health insurance plan with a choice between a public option and private insurance plans”

Favor 60% to 37%

Favor 50% to 46%

Favor 55% to 40%

Note: In all three polls, half of those surveyed were asked each question. All of the health care reform proposals that have passed Congressional committees to date, including three House committees and the Senate HELP Committee, include an individual mandate and the choice of private or public health insurance. The Chairman’s mark introduced into the Senate Finance Committee includes the individual mandate without the choice of a public health insurance option. Opposition to Taxing Benefits – Support for Surcharge on Upper Incomes: The polls also tested support for measures to finance health reform, including the proposal in the Senate Finance Committee to tax high-cost health plans and proposals in the House committees to place a surcharge on households that earn more than $350,000 a year. The polling found a consistent pattern: nationally, in swing House districts, and in Maine, voters are opposed to the tax on high-cost plans while supporting the surcharge on upper-income households.
National “Placing a tax on the highest-cost private insurance policies in order to pay for health care reform” “Raising taxes on households making more than three hundred fifty thousand dollars a year in order to pay for health care reform” House Swing Maine

Oppose 54% to 41%

Oppose 55% to 29%*

Oppose 50% to 40%

Favor 60% to 40%

Favor 53% to 43%

Favor 57% to 38%

Support for Employer Responsibility: The polls also found consistent support for a requirement that all but the smallest businesses help pay for coverage another revenue measure that is included in the House and Senate HELP committees but is not part of the Senate Finance Committee proposal.

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National “Requiring all but the smallest businesses to either provide health benefits or pay a tax that helps their employees afford coverage.”

House Swing

Maine

Favor 61% to 39%

Favor 56% to 41%

Favor 56% to 37%

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Summary: Taken together the polls provide clear evidence that nationally, in swing House Districts, and in the key state of Maine support a mandate when offered the choice of a public health insurance option and fair financing based on shared responsibility. Health Care for America Now urges the Senate Finance Committee members to join the other four committees in enacting legislation that includes a public health insurance option, progressive financing and employer responsibility. De t a i l s o n P o l l s: N a t i o na l : Lake Research Partners conducted a telephone survey of 716 likely 2010 voters nationwide September 18-21, 2009. Margin of error is +/3.7%. Ho use Sw i ng: Anzalone Liszt Research conducted a telephone survey of 1,200 likely 2010 voters in 91 Blue Dog/Frontline/Rural Caucus House Districts between September 11-17, 2009. Margin of error for these results is #2.8%. * The question on taxing high cost plans was asked by Anzalone Liszt in an earlier poll taken July 28-30 of 803 likely 2010 voters in 52 Blue Dog House districts. The question wording was slightly different here: “Placing a tax on high-cost insurance plans.” Ma i n e : Lake Research Partners conducted a survey of 400 likely 2010 voters statewide in Maine September 14-16, 2009. Margin of error is +/4.9%.

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