KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Support For Health Overhaul Slipping

A USA Today/Gallup Poll found that "most Americans say it's important to overhaul health care this year," but "they are less enthusiastic about some of the proposals to pay for it," USA Today reports. "And while a majority say controlling costs should be the legislation's top goal, more than nine in 10 oppose limits on getting whatever tests or treatments they and their doctors think are necessary." But some good news for President Obama: "A third of those surveyed say they trust him and congressional Democrats most when it comes to changing health care, compared with 10% who choose congressional Republicans. Another 45% trust doctors and hospitals the most."

Of the 3,026 adults surveyed, 56 percent "endorse the idea of enacting major health care changes this year." As for how to pay for it, "six of 10 favor the idea of requiring employers to provide health insurance for their workers or pay a fee instead. Increasing income taxes on upper-income Americans, an approach backed by House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., is endorsed by 58%. Just over half support taxing sugary soft drinks. By 53%-43%, though, those surveyed oppose taxing health care benefits above a certain level - Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., had floated that idea - and even more are against cutting Medicare costs, a provision of House and Senate plans" (Page, 7/13).

"More Americans now oppose the health care reform being crafted by President Obama and congressional Democrats than support it, Rasmussen polling company reported Monday," Politico reports. "Forty-nine percent of those surveyed said they were at least somewhat opposed to the unfolding health care reform plan, while 46 percent at least somewhat favored it, according to the survey by Rasmussen Reports. Just two weeks ago, the company said, 50 percent were for the reform plan and 45 percent were opposed. The survey questions did not describe the plan in detail."

Researchers examined the partisan divide. "Sixty percent of Republicans strongly oppose the plan, up three points from two weeks ago, but only 35 percent of Democrats strongly favor it, down eight points from the earlier survey. Among voters not affiliated with either party, those strongly opposed to the health care reform plan have risen 12 points over the past two weeks, from 39 percent to 51 percent, Rasmussen said. Just 12 percent of those surveyed said their own health care coverage would get better if the reform plan was passed; 39 percent said they expected that their coverage would get worse and 36 percent said it would stay about the same" (Anderson, 7/13).

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