Poll: Most Washington residents oppose health insurance mandate

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by ROBERT MAK / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on June 27, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:45 AM

A new KING 5 poll finds most Washington state residents don’t like the provision in the health care reform bill that would require them to carry health insurance or pay a penalty.  The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule Thursday on the Constitutionality of requiring all Americans to obtain health insurance.

In a KING 5 poll of 500 residents across Washington state, 46% say they disapprove of the entire health care reform bill as passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in 2010, with 41% saying they approve.  Thirteen percent told SurveyUSA they were not sure.

The individual mandate is even less popular, with 64% saying they oppose the requirement that all Americans must provide proof of health insurance or pay a penalty; Only 33% support the mandate.  Washington Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candiate Rob McKenna joined other states in the lawsuit challenging the health care reform bill.  While the coalition of states sought to overturn the whole bill, McKenna has said he is opposed primarily to the individual mandate.

In the KING 5 poll, 58% say it was a “good thing” that 26 states including Washington, challenged the Constitutionality of the law, compared to 31% who say it was a “bad thing.”   Forty-seven percent of Washington residents in our KING 5 poll say it would be a “good thing” if the individual mandate were struck down, compared to 40% who say it would be a “bad thing.”

While most Washington state residents share McKenna’s dislike for the individual mandate, it’s less clear how statewide residents will feel if the U.S. Supreme Court should strike down the entire bill.  When asked about the prospect of the Court striking down the entire law, 42% said that would be ”good thing” compared to 46% who said it would be a bad thing—within the poll’s 4.5% margin of error.

Certain provisions of the bill remain popular, with 56% in our poll approving of the elimination of lifetime dollar caps, 79% approving of the idea that insurers cannot exclude pre-existing medical conditions, and 72% approving of letting children stay on their parents’ insurance plan until their 26th birthday.

Part of the concern over the health care reform law remains cost.  In our KING 5 poll, 56% expect they will end up paying more for their health care, compared to 14% who believe they’ll end up paying less.

Overall, Washington residents were pretty much evenly split three ways on what the U.S. Supreme Court should do—27% saying the law should be upheld, 30% saying the entire law should be struck down, and 31% saying only the mandate should be struck.
 

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