Union members are supposed to be important allies to President Obama in his push for a health care overhaul
Washington, D.C. (Vocus) September 23, 2009
It is no secret that the Obama White House is counting on support from union members as it makes its final push to overhaul America's health care system. However, according to a recent Zogby International/O'Leary Report Poll, rank and file union members are not sold on many of the President's reform proposals, and even reject a number of Obama's favored initiatives outright.
The Zogby/O'Leary Poll surveyed 4,426 likely voters on September 4-8 and has a margin-of-error of plus-or-minus 1.5 percentage points. The results below show how American voters who are union members feel about various health care reform issues. This subsample size is 1,036 likely voters.
1. Which statement comes closest to your opinion?
Statement A: A government-run "public" health insurance option is needed to create more competition and choice in the health insurance marketplace.
Statement B: The public option is too intrusive to the free market and would eventually drive private health insurers out of business.
Statement A 46.4%
Statement B 45.0%
Not sure 3.9%
2. An "employer mandate" would require businesses, including small businesses, to provide health insurance to their employees or face a fine. Some say this would help bring health insurance to more people who don't currently have it. Others say it would harm job creation and economic growth, forcing some employers to stop providing their employees with health insurance if it is cheaper for them to pay the fine. Do you support or oppose an "employer mandate?"
Not sure 7.4%
3. With which statement do you agree?
Statement A: Expanding government's role in health care is necessary to control costs and expand coverage.
Statement B: Expanding government's role in health care will do more harm than good?
Statement A 44.8%
Statement B 44.0%
Not sure 6.0%
4. Would you support or oppose a provision that banned the government or insurance companies from considering a patient's age or life-expectancy when deciding whether or not to cover certain medical procedures?
Not sure 5.3%
5. It is estimated that 10 million Americans, 3.3% of the U.S. population, are too poor to afford health insurance, yet their income levels are high enough to disqualify them from government-provided health care programs like Medicaid. Should health care reform focus on providing coverage for this 3.3% of Americans, or should congress overhaul the entire U.S. health care system.
Cover 3.3 percent 41.0%
Overhaul entire system 39.6%
Something else 12.9%
Not sure 6.5%
6. Do you agree or disagree that the federal government should require all Americans to purchase health insurance, or face a fine?
Not sure 12.2%
7. President Obama is promoting a new government agency called the "Independent Medicare Advisory Council," and some people believe this agency should use its powers to deny payment for procedures it deems unnecessary or futile. Others say that such power would interfere with the doctor-patient relationship. Do you support or oppose the creation of an "Independent Medicare Advisory Council?"
Not sure 11.1%
8. Would you support or oppose having a government health insurance plan compete with private health insurance plans?
Not sure 5.1%
9. Do you support or oppose a government-run health care system, or "single-payer" system, where the federal government pays for and provides health care for all Americans?
Not sure 3.9%
10. Currently, medical malpractice insurance costs doctors in some areas of the country up to $200,000 per year, a cost that doctors pass on to their patients in the form of higher fees for service. Do you agree or disagree that tort reform is needed?
Not sure 9.1%
11. Do you support or oppose taxing employer-provided health care benefits?
Not sure 11.4%
12. As long as the federal government provides financial help to those who cannot afford health insurance, do you think the federal government should fine businesses that do not provide insurance for their employees and also fine individuals who choose not to purchase health insurance?
Not sure 19.4%
13. Currently, Americans may only purchase health insurance from a provider licensed in their state. Some say that Americans should be allowed to purchase health insurance from providers in different states possibly creating more competition and driving down the price of health insurance. Do you agree or disagree?
Not sure 9.9%
14. There are currently 26 million Americans age 18 and older who can afford to purchase health insurance, but choose not to purchase it for a variety of reasons. There are also 12 million illegal immigrants in America who lack health insurance. Do you think taxes should be raised to fund a government-run health insurance program for these people?
Not sure 8.1%
15. Some in Congress would like to institute a 5% surtax on people who make more than one million dollars per year in order to pay for health reform. This tax, combined with others, would raise the top marginal tax rate to over 50% in 39 states. Opponents of this surtax say that this tax will hit job producers the most, and slow economic recovery. Proponents of the surtax say that it is needed to cover the cost of providing health insurance to everyone in the U.S. Do you agree or disagree with taxing millionaires an additional 5% to pay for a new health care system?
Not sure 7.8%
16. Should President Obama and Congress add to the deficit by overhauling our healthcare system, or should they lower the deficit first before they consider a $1 trillion health care overhaul.
Add to deficit 37.4%
Lower deficit first 46.1%
Something else 11.2%
Not sure 5.3%
"Union members are supposed to be important allies to President Obama in his push for a health care overhaul," said Brad O'Leary, publisher of The O'Leary Report. "These poll results, however, show that even large percentages of union members reject the key tenets of 'Obamacare.'"
Brad O'Leary is publisher of "The O'Leary Report," a bestselling author, and is a former NBC Westwood One talk show host. His latest bestseller on the looming threats to free speech in America, "Shut Up, America! The End of Free Speech," (http://www.EndofFreeSpeech.com) is available now in bookstores. To see more poll results, go to http://www.olearyreport.com. To interview Brad, contact Shawna Shriner at (703) 272-1500.
Peyton Knight at (703) 272-1504