Survey: Most U.S. favors health exchanges

Feb. 10, 2013 at 11:42 AM

BOSTON, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Most U.S. adults put the creation of state-based health insurance exchanges at the top of the priority list for health policy in their state, a survey says.

The survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard School of Public Health also found 55 percent of the public, including majorities of Republicans and Democrats, said establishing the exchanges -- a key element of the Affordable Care Act -- was a top priority for their governor and legislature.

"Governors are largely splitting along partisan lines on the exchanges, but the public is not," Drew Altman, president and chief executive officer of the Kaiser Family Foundation, said in a statement. "People like the idea."

In the same vein, while some Republican governors are balking at the optional expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, 52 percent of U.S. adults said their state should expand its Medicaid program, while 42 percent said they were against expansion. However, on this issue party affiliate made a difference -- two-thirds of Republicans said they preferred to keep their state Medicaid program as it was, while 75 percent said they favored a state expansion of Medicaid. Independents were evenly divided.

Sixty-five percent of U.S. adults said Washington should act quickly to bring down the deficit, but 58 percent opposed any spending cuts to Medicare and 46 percent opposed any cuts to Medicaid.

The survey was conducted Jan. 3 through Jan. 9 among a nationally representative random sample of 1,347 adults ages 18 and older. Telephone interviews were conducted by Social Science Research Solutions. The margin of error was 3 percentage points.

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