Almost two-thirds of Americans think the federal government should extend health coverage to the uninsured, while only one-quarter would want the recently passed tax cut, according to a new poll by researchers at Stony Brook University in New York.
Among those who want an extension of coverage, more of them prefer a major effort involving a tax increase to a more moderate effort that would not, says the study, released Tuesday.
Specifically, the study of 810 adults nationwide finds that 36% of all respondents support a tax increase to expand healthcare.
The poll also finds support for an expansion across the political spectrum. It says 72% of Democrats, 65% of independents and 53% of Republicans prefer action on health insurance to a tax cut. And even 27% of Republicans are willing to pay higher taxes for it.
The study also finds that 71% favor government requiring businesses to offer health insurance to all of their employees, a proposal that died in the healthcare debate in the Clinton administration. This "employer mandate" is favored by 69% of Republican, 77% of Democrat and 72% of independent respondents, it says.
Meanwhile, respondents gave President George Bush relatively low marks for his handling of healthcare.
Only 40% approve of his work on healthcare. Another 38% disapprove, which is on a par with recent ratings of how well Bush is handling the economy and is well below his overall job approval rating.