The newest tracking poll on national attitudes towards reform shows a 7% increase in overall support for reform over the past month to 48%. Significantly, support for the major elements of reform retains significant bipartisan support – large majorities of all Americans, including majorities of Republicans, support the insurance exchanges, the high risk pool, closing the doughnut hole, eliminating pre-existing conditions and individual insurance subsidies. The only exception is the individual mandate to buy insurance which is supported, unsurprisingly, by only 34% of people across the political spectrum.
This poll is good news for the new health reform law. Such a jump in overall support is very encouraging, and it isn’t surprising at all the people don’t like the individual mandate. No one likes to pay taxes, but most people see the need to pay them to support our schools, roads, defense and other services. In the same way one can’t have all the good things about health reform without requiring that everyone buy insurance. Otherwise people would just buy coverage only when they got sick and that would mean skyrocketing premiums for everyone else who keeps their coverage since all the healthy people wouldn’t be in the insurance pool.
I expect these poll numbers showing support for the law to continue to climb as more and more people realize that the new law, while certainly not perfect, contains many changes that will make insurance more accessible and affordable to average Americans.