Poll shows Washington voters willing to pay higher taxes to ensure health care
A poll of Washington registered voters taken in October showed, at that time, strong support for health care reform and willingness to pay higher taxes to guarantee insurance coverage for themselves and others.
Fifty-two percent of voters said they would be willing to contribute more money to ensure that all Americans have reliable health insurance, according to data from the Washington Poll conducted by the University of Washington. By comparison, 42 percent said they would not be willing, and 5 percent were neutral.
Also, more than 90 percent said insurance portability, coverage of pre-existing conditions and cost controls are "very or somewhat important." At least 63 percent of those voters also ranked another six issues "very or somewhat important." Those issues included a public option for anyone who wants it, medical malpractice reform and preventing illegal immigrants from obtaining public health care.
The poll also asked voters to name their No. 1 concern for the coming year. Twenty-one percent said jobs, 18 percent health care. Other issues, from taxes to the war in Afghanistan, each accounted for less than 15 percent of total responses.
Of voters who counted health care their top concern, 48 percent were Democrats, 21 percent Republicans and 27 percent independents. Also, 49 percent were from the Puget Sound region, 22 percent from Eastern Washington and the remainder from other areas around the state. "The poll shows that there is a lot of agreement among Washington voters about the importance of health care reform and its specific components, regardless of political affiliation," said Sara Vaezy, a graduate student in the University of Washington School of Public Health who with Lauren Carr, also a graduate student in public health, analyzed the data.
The Washington Poll is a non-partisan, academic survey sponsored by the Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race & Sexuality, a political science research center. The health care survey was administered by telephone to 724 randomly selected registered voters Oct. 14-26. Margin of error is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.
Full results of the survey are available at http://www.washingtonpoll.org.