Study: Ditch reform, add public option

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In poll after poll, calls for repealing the new health insurance law get strong support. But if the law were repealed, an Indiana University survey released this week shows that Americans want a surprising thing in its place: a public option.

The IU Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research found that 58 percent of Americans want to repeal the law that President Obama signed on March 23.

In addition, nearly half of Americans want Congress to focus on health issues—more than on any other single issue—when its members return from their spring recess.

But the surprising result is that 67 percent of Americans say it's important for Congress to work on “establishment of a public option that would give individuals a choice between government-provided health insurance or private health insurance.”

That idea even got 67 percent of respondents who identified themselves as Republicans.

“I was shocked at how many people said it was important,” said Dr. Aaron Carroll, director of the IU center. He added, “Some of the people who are saying ‘repeal,’ it might just be dissatisfaction with the bill. Why people are really dissatisfied is another question. It’s something we’re definitely wanting to explore further.”

One group especially ardent for both repeal and the public option are young people. Among those 18-34 years old, 71 percent support repeal and 70 percent said the establishment of a public option is important.

The new law would allow young people to remain on their parents’ health insurance until age 26 or buy bare-bones catastrophic coverage until age 30. And presumably, many young people will be among the low-income households that receive subsidies to buy health insurance.

But the new law also would tax anyone who fails to buy private health insurance—a bill that will likely fall on young people who often rely on their good health rather than pay for coverage.

The public option was part of the health reform bills first introduced in Congress last year, but it was removed in order to win support from moderate Democratic legislators. No Republicans voted for the final versions of health insurance reform.


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  1. President Obama has referred to the ACA as "Obamacare" any number of times; one thing it is not, if you don't qualify for a subsidy, is "affordable".

  2. One important correction, Indiana does not have an ag-gag law, it was soundly defeated, or at least changed. It was stripped of everything to do with undercover pictures and video on farms. There is NO WAY on earth that ag gag laws will survive a constitutional challenge. None. Period. Also, the reason they are trying to keep you out, isn't so we don't show the blatant abuse like slamming pigs heads into the ground, it's show we don't show you the legal stuf... the anal electroctions, the cutting off of genitals without anesthesia, the tail docking, the cutting off of beaks, the baby male chicks getting thrown alive into a grinder, the deplorable conditions, downed animals, animals sitting in their own excrement, the throat slitting, the bolt guns. It is all deplorable behavior that doesn't belong in a civilized society. The meat, dairy and egg industries are running scared right now, which is why they are trying to pass these ridiculous laws. What a losing battle.

  3. Eating there years ago the food was decent, nothing to write home about. Weird thing was Javier tried to pass off the story the way he ended up in Indy was he took a bus he thought was going to Minneapolis. This seems to be the same story from the founder of Acapulco Joe's. Stopped going as I never really did trust him after that or the quality of what being served.

  4. Indianapolis...the city of cricket, chains, crime and call centers!

  5. "In real life, a farmer wants his livestock as happy and health as possible. Such treatment give the best financial return." I have to disagree. What's in the farmer's best interest is to raise as many animals as possible as quickly as possible as cheaply as possible. There is a reason grass-fed beef is more expensive than corn-fed beef: it costs more to raise. Since consumers often want more food for lower prices, the incentive is for farmers to maximize their production while minimizing their costs. Obviously, having very sick or dead animals does not help the farmer, however, so there is a line somewhere. Where that line is drawn is the question.