Monday, August 17, 2009

Indiana Survey Finds Little Edge for 'Public Option' Over Single Payer

Indiana University's Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research (CHPPR) recently completed a survey that found "support for government-sponsored health insurance for individuals under age 65 remains virtually the same regardless of how the plan is described or how involved the government would be."

43% considered a "public health insurance plan" appealing, with 30% finding it unappealing; a "Medicare-like" plan enjoyed a 44-26% edge; and a "single-payer" option had 39-36% support. The pollsters characterized the support numbers for the three as falling within the "margin of sampling error for results based on the total sample" of 609 adults surveyed, which was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The CHPPR poll described the public health insurance plan as competing with private health insurance plans for the business of "everyone under the age of 65" who "would decide whether or not they want to purchase private health insurance through a private company or public health insurance offered by the United States government" under a plan that "would compete with private health insurance plans ... and would be available to anyone regardless of employment." The "Medicare-like" plan was described in virtually identical terms.

The "Single-Payer Scenario" was a system "changed in the following way...Similar to other countries, everyone under the age of 65 would automatically be enrolled in a health insurance program provided by the United States government. In addition to receiving government funded health care, you would have the option of purchasing additional coverage from private health insurers."

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