KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Poll: Democrats Hold Political Advantage on Contraception, Medicare Debates

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation's February poll, opinions tracked more closely with party affiliation than gender. Meanwhile, the public remains skeptical of the health law.

Reuters: 63 Percent Of Voters Back Obama Birth Control Policy - Poll
Nearly two-thirds of Americans favor President Barack Obama's policy requiring birth control coverage for female employees, including clear majorities of Roman Catholic, Protestant evangelical and independent voters, a poll showed on Thursday. A Kaiser Family Foundation survey of 1,500 adults showed public opinion breaking more strongly according to party affiliation than gender on contraceptives, with 83 percent of Democrats, 62 percent of independents and 42 percent of Republicans favoring the policy (Morgan, 3/1).

Kaiser Health News: Poll: Most Americans Support Contraception Rule
Kaiser Health News staff writer Marilyn Werber Serafini reports: "Six in ten Americans, including Catholics, said they support a requirement by the Obama administration that health plans supply free contraceptives as a preventive benefit for women, according to the latest tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation" (Werber Serafini, 3/1).

National Journal: Poll: Democrats Hold Edge On Contraception Debate, Medicare
Though the public remains skeptical of the health care law, a Kaiser Family Foundation survey suggests that Democrats hold a political advantage in the live policy debates surrounding the issue. The survey, part of the organization’s monthly tracking poll, found support for the 2010 law split nearly evenly. Forty-two percent of the adults surveyed had a favorable view of the law, while 43 percent viewed it unfavorably. But despite the continued lukewarm reception for the health care law generally, the survey found that the public still trusts President Obama to make the right decisions about the future of the law more than any of his Republican challengers. The survey shows that 58 percent trust the president, compared with between 33 and 43 percent for his challengers (Sanger-Katz, 3/1).

Modern Healthcare: Most Americans Like Medicare The Way It Is: Survey
About 70% of Americans say they favor the Medicare program as it exists today, while 25% say they would support a premium-support model in the federal healthcare program, according to a February survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Among those surveyed, 83% of Democrats said they want to keep Medicare as it is and 14% say they would support the change. That compares with 53% of Republicans who prefer the status quo and 39% who said they would like to see a premium-support model, which is the basis of a proposal from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), as well as GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney (Zigmond, 3/1).

Politico Pro: Poll: GOP Stances On Health Care Unpopular
A new poll suggests that Republicans are staking out unpopular positions on two of the biggest health care issues in this election year: contraception coverage and Medicare. The findings of the latest poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, released Thursday morning, are a warning to the party as the Senate prepares to vote later Thursday on a Republican-sponsored measure to let employers refuse to cover health services, including birth control, if they have moral objections (Nather, 3/1).

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