Poll: Americans Overwhelmingly Favor Universal Health Care — Until Taxes Are Mentioned

A new CNN poll shows just how tricky the debate over health care really is. People are all for expanded coverage and greater government involvement — right up until they have to face the tradeoffs.

“In general, would you favor or oppose a program that would increase the federal government’s influence over the country’s health care system in an attempt to lower costs and provide health care coverage to more Americans?” Americans favor government intervention in the health system by 69%-29%.

“In general, would you favor or oppose a program that would increase the federal government’s influence over the health care you and your family receive in an attempt to lower costs and provide health care coverage to more Americans?” When it involves their own care and their families, approval is still high, but a bit lower: 63%-36%.“Do you think the federal government should guarantee health care for all Americans, or don’t you think so?” Americans favor guaranteed health care for all, by a margin of 62%-38%.

Now here’s where it gets really tricky: “Would you prefer a health care reform plan that raises taxes in order to provide health insurance to all Americans, or a plan that does not provide health insurance to all Americans but keeps taxes at current levels?” It is now a 47%-47% tie, thanks to the threat of tax increases.

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