Poll: Americans would pay higher taxes to cover uninsured

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Americans would be willing to shell out more money for healthcare or pay increased taxes if that meant that the government would cover the uninsured, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll taken by 1,281 U.S. adults from Feb. 23 to Feb. 27. Seventy percent said the amount of uninsured U.S. residents is a very serious problem, while 60 percent said they would be willing to pay higher taxes to ensure that all Americans have access to health insurance. In this poll, 11 percent report being uninsured. The majority of poll participants believe providing insurance for the uninsured is more important than keeping health care costs down.

In the poll, 54 percent of people said the U.S. Healthcare system needs fundamental changes, while 36 percent said it needs to be completely rebuilt. But there’s a toss up on whether poll participants would trust a government-run or private plan. While 47 percent said the government would be more successful at lowering costs, 44 percent believe the government would do worse at providing coverage than private companies. When asked whether a government-run system that provides universal healthcare would work better than the current private system, with many uninsured, the majority voted for a universal plan.
Twenty-eight percent are very dissatisfied with the quality of healthcare in the U.S., but 41 percent are very satisfied with their own health care. As for which political party they think could resolve the current situation, two-thirds of registered voters believe in the democrats, with the majority of people supporting Hillary Clinton (36 percent) over Barack Obama (25 percent) and John Edwards (22 percent) to reform healthcare. Of those who are democratic voters, 60 percent supported Clinton.

The top two healthcare issues for 2008 presidential candidates include coverage for the uninsured (34 percent) and reducing healthcare costs (28 percent). Of those who are uninsured, 52 percent said they do not have health insurance because they can’t afford it.