Across the aisle, Americans say they want improvements in health insurance coverage

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Democrats, Republicans and independents want health insurance to be improved

In a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll, both Democrats and Republicans say they would like to see health insurance coverage improvements in a healthcare reform bill.

Democrats in the survey say their top three priorities in a reform bill are improving the affordability of health insurance coverage, helping uninsured Americans get coverage and requiring insurers to cover those with pre-existing conditions. Republicans want to control costs, make health insurance more affordable and eliminate the "donut hole" in Medicare coverage.

Independents share the concerns of political partisans: their biggest priority was affordability of health insurance. Guaranteed coverage of those with pre-existing conditions and cost control were second- and third-most important, respectively.

Despite a marked interest in improving the quality and extent of coverage, a minority of Americans are willing to pay more to cover the currently uninsured. Only 42 percent of those surveyed say they would pay more to increase the coverage of others.

Taxing the rich was consistently popular, though. About 70 percent of survey respondents favor paying for healthcare reform by taxing households that make over $1 million. Even a majority of Republicans supported a tax-the-rich measure to fund improved health insurance coverage.

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Posted: November 24, 2009

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