50% Say States Should Have Right to Opt Out of Health Care Reform Plan

March 20, 2010


As Congress nears what could be its final vote on the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats, 50% of voters nationwide say states should have the right to opt out of the entire plan. That’s up three points from the end of last year.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that just 36% of voters disagree, down four points from the previous survey, and another 13% are undecided.

Not surprisingly, 74% of Republicans believe that states should have the right to opt out, while 56% of Democrats disagree. However, 30% of white Democrats believe that states should have the right to opt out of the plan. Thirty-three percent (33%) of white Democrats are opposed to the plan being considered by Congress.

Among voters not affiliated with either major party, 48% say the states should have the right to opt out, and 36% disagree.

Overall, 45% of voters currently favor the proposed health care legislation, while 52% are opposed. Support comes primarily from those who would like to see a single-payer health care system where the federal government provides coverage for everyone. Among those who prefer a single-payer system, 83% support the president’s plan.

Among those who oppose a single-payer system, 82% oppose the plan before Congress. That figure includes 74% who are Strongly Opposed.

Opponents of a single-payer system overwhelmingly believe that states should have the right to opt out of the proposed health care legislation. Supporters of a single-payer system overwhelmingly take the opposite view.

Most voters believe passage of the health care plan will hurt the economy. While people are unhappy with insurance companies, 51% fear the federal government more than private insurers when it comes to health care decisions.

The concept of choice plays an important role in the health care debate. Just 45% of voters favor a requirement that would force individuals to buy or obtain health insurance. Fifty percent (50%) are opposed.

The most popular provision in the health care plan is the creation of “an insurance exchange where people can shop for competing insurance plans.” Eighty percent (80%) support that approach.

In general, 59% of voters nationwide say states should have the right to opt out of federal government programs they don’t agree with.

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