AARP poll shows divide over public option

Aug. 26, 2009 at 12:43 PM   |   0 comments

DENVER, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- While eight of 10 Americans say they favor a public health insurance option, fewer than four in 10 can define what that option is, an AARP survey indicates.

The poll, conducted by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates for AARP, was presented Tuesday in Denver, the Denver Business Journal reported Wednesday.

While results suggest strong agreement among respondents that healthcare delivery and payment must change, it also indicated less agreement on whether the matter required higher taxes or insurance premiums, said Charlie Cook, a political analyst in Washington.

Under President Barack Obama's healthcare reform proposal, a public option would be offered as one choice in a cafeteria-style menu of health insurance packages available to consumers. Some opponents of the public option say it would lead to government-run healthcare.

Congress is deep in partisan and philosophical debate over the shape of healthcare reform, with criticism of Obama's plan that includes a public insurance option coming from both Republicans and conservative Democrats.

Poll results indicated nearly 65 percent of those surveyed said they oppose increasing taxes to pay for covering the more than 46 million uninsured Americans, the business journal said. However, a majority polled said they believed all people should be covered and 73 percent said they are unwilling to see private health insurance premiums rise to cover those costs.

The nationwide poll surveyed 1,000 adults identifying themselves Democrats, Republicans or independents this month. No margin of error was provided.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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