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M E M O R A N D U M
To: Interested PartiesFrom: Celinda Lake, David Mermin, and Dan Spicer,Lake Research PartnersSubject: Recent statewide polling in Maine on health care reform
Date: September 17, 2009
Recent polling among likely voters in Maine shows plurality support forPresident Obama’s health insurance reform plan with solid majority supportonce voters hear the details of the plan.
A plurality (47%) back President Obama’sproposed health insurance reform plan with 34% opposed. Once given details ofhealth insurance reform, a majority (59%) of voters support the proposal (39% strongly)with 34% opposed (24% strongly). A majority of Democrats and Independents, menand women, older and younger voters, and both urban and rural voters support thisreform plan. Only among Republicans are a majority opposed.
Voters want the choice of a public health insurance option now, especially ifthere is a mandate to buy health insurance. They do not want to wait for a“trigger” where the public health insurance option is offered only if privatehealth insurance companies fail to make health care affordable.
In head-to-headdebates between having the public health insurance option as a back up if reforms failto make health care affordable and including the public health insurance option as partof the reform package at the outset, a majority (54%) believe the public healthinsurance option is needed as part of the reform if there is a mandate to buy healthinsurance. Just 24% think the public health insurance option should be a back up only,and only 16% reject the public health insurance option under any circumstance. In aversion arguing that the public health insurance option should be included in reformbecause private health insurance companies have already failed to make health careaffordable, roughly half (49%) favor that position, whereas 29% prefer the public healthinsurance option only as a back up. A mere 13% reject the public health insuranceoption in either instance.
While a mandate that everyone buy and be covered by a private health insuranceplan is unpopular, a majority of Maine voters favor the mandate ONLY IF theyhave a choice between a public health insurance option and private insuranceplans.
Only 35% favor and 55% oppose a proposal “requiring everyone to buy and becovered by a private health insurance plan.” When tested with “a choice between a
Lake Research Partners conducted a survey of 400 likely voters statewide in Maine September 14-16, 2009. Margin of error is +/-4.9%.
CELINDA C. LAKEPresident ALYSIA R. SNELLPartner MICHAEL J. PERRYPartner DAVID MERMINPartner DR. ROBERT G. MEADOWPartner DANIEL R. GOTOFFPartner JOSHUA ULIBARRIPartner RICK A. JOHNSONVice PresidentTRESA UNDEMVice PresidentROBERT X. HILLMANChief Financial Officer ALAN C. WOLFChief Operating Officer