Are Americans Really Divided Over Health Insurance Reform?

By Meredith Ledford on March 16th, 2010
Health Insurance

In a February 2010 poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 43% of Americans are in favor and 43% oppose health insurance reform. However, the poll also found that 6 out of 10 Americans, regardless of political persuasion, support several provisions in the health reform proposals that would improve the private health insurance market.

Below are a few of those policies and what they may mean for you as you search for affordable, quality health insurance.

Proposal to Prevent Insurers from Denying Coverage Because of Preexisting Conditions

Currently, health insurance companies can deny coverage if you have a condition that the insurer deems "uninsurable." These conditions may include diabetes, asthma, or other chronic conditions. Additionally, if you have a medical history that is less than stellar, the insurance plan can choose not to insure you. For example, a history of high blood pressure or a history of cancer (even though it's in remission) may deem you or a dependent uninsurable. According to the Kaiser Poll, more than 3 in 4 Americans support provisions to change this in the current health insurance system.

Expand High-Risk Insurance Pools for Those Who Cannot Get Coverage Elsewhere

In a related policy, those deemed "uninsurable" because of a preexisting condition can enroll in state-sponsored high-risk insurance pools. The problem is that these pools aren't available in every state. The Kaiser Family Foundation poll also found that 70% of Americans support expanding the availability of high-risk insurance pools for those individuals who cannot find coverage through traditional methods of insurance.

Help Workers of Small Businesses Get Coverage

Many small businesses are unable to participate in large health insurance pools, to share and spread the risk of a diverse array of employees, so they are often unable to offer employer-based coverage to workers. In fact, 72% of those polled by the Kaiser Family Foundation support provisions to offer credits to small businesses to help their workers get coverage.

Public Opinion and Health Reform

So why hasn't health insurance reform moved forward if the majority of the American people support many of the provisions included in the proposals? The widely held belief, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation poll, is that it is primarily due to political gamesmanship rather than policy disagreements. In fact, 59% say the delays are "More about both sides playing politics," and 25% say that delays are, "More about Republicans and Democrats having disagreements."

Compare Health Insurance Quotes

Regardless of your political views, one thing remains the same--every American needs health insurance to cover necessary medical services and supplies. Be sure to compare multiple health insurance quotes and choose a plan that meets your needs.

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