Individual mandate

Reason Rupe: While 51 Percent Oppose Individual Mandate, 56 Favor Employer Mandate


 A recent Reason-Rupe poll finds that half of Americans think it is proper for the federal government to require employers to provide health insurance and 56 percent favor such a regulation, yet 51 percentoppose mandating individuals to obtain health insurance, and 62 percent believe the individual mandate is unconstitutional. It remains unclear how Americans reconcile support for the employer mandate but opposition to the individual mandate.

The following chart demonstrates that 33 percent of Americans favor both an individual and employer health insurance mandate and 28 percent oppose both mandates. However, 20 percent oppose the individual mandate but favor the employer mandate. A small percentage (9 percent) said they favor the individual mandate and also oppose the employer mandate.


Full poll results found here.

Nationwide telephone poll conducted March 10th-20th of both mobile and landline phones, 1200 adults, margin of error +/- 3 percent. Columns may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding. Full methodology can be found here

Emily Ekins is the director of polling for Reason Foundation where she leads the Reason-Rupe public opinion research project, launched in 2011. Follow her on Twitter @emilyekins.

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  1. The public one again shows why it shouldn’t be trusted. Forcing employers to provide insurance is a terrible idea.

  2. In other news, 56% of Americans are morons who think that money and ponies grow on trees.

    1. Yeah, this. 🙁

    2. C’mon John. You and I both know the figure is well north of 90%. The 44% may be right on this, but they’re certainly ill-informed petty tyrants on a veritable jungle of other policy issues.

      1. Nah. The only way to object to it is because you understand not everyone can have a free pony. So I take issue with 90% of the people being morons.

        1. And pray tell, do you think that the entire 44% doesn’t believe in sundry other free ponies???

          “Get the Govt Out of My Medicare!”
          “Balance the Budget, Cut the NEA, LEAVE MY SOCIAL SECURITY ALONE”

          There is a metric fuckton of cognitive dissonance there too. Just because they don’t want their employer to give them the pony, doesn’t mean they are willing to let their grandkids duck out of the pony tab.

          1. “Get the Government out of my Medicare” was objecting to cutting medicare to pay for Obamacare. Cut the budget but leave my pony alone, while possibly mistaken depending on the pony, doesn’t in any way indicate a lack of understanding of opportunity cost.

            In fact, the first statement shows just the kind of understanding you claim doesn’t exist. People understood that insuring the uninsured with the same amount of money necessarily meant taking something away from someone.

            1. Note I didn’t say “cut” the budget, I said “balance.” And the simple fact is that you could eliminate every goddamn thing the govt does except SS/MC and still not balance the fucking thing. Hence, when people say balance the budget without cutting/reforming SS/MC, they are either a) idiots or b) disingenuous.

              As for the “get the govt outta my medicare”, I’ll take you’re word at face value that they merely opposed the cuts to medicare used to fund ACA. But the mere reference to MY medicare entails a certain belief in ownership, namely they believe that they paid in so they should get the bennies. This is pretty damn close to a free pony mentality when one realizes that the amount they’ve paid in over their lives (much of which was borrowed to pay for the other ponies the gubmint gave them in their working years) is fractions of a percent of what they now seek to leech of the system. So to hell with them. In the (modified) words of Marie Antoinette, “Let them eat Alpo.”

              1. And the simple fact is that you could eliminate every goddamn thing the govt does except SS/MC and still not balance the fucking thing.

                That is not true. Our revenues exceed that. And if you want to know why people won’t buy into cutting programs they get, it is not because they don’t understand. It is because they are rightfully cynical.

                Why should anyone agree to have a program they benefit from cut when the Congress has never once shown the ability to actually cut government? It is one thing to agree to a cut that is part of solving the problem. It is quite another to agree to a cut when you know the money is just going to be stolen by someone else. In the latter case you would be stupid to agree to a cut since doing so would just make you worse off and the country no better off.

                Not to hell with them. The people of this country are acting entirely rational when you consider that they are dealing with a completely craven and cynical political class.

                1. That is not true. Our revenues exceed that.

                  Barely. The margin is pinner.

                  Projected Federal Revenue for 2012 is $2.5 tril

                  Projected Cost of SS, Medicare, Medicaid, and Debt Service is about 2.43 trillion

                  So yeah, you pretty much HAVE to cut everything else in order to preserve those two in their existing forms. And you and I both know that this is just the tip, and it ain’t gonna get any gentler, it’s going full STEVE SMITH style over the next decade.

                  1. But you see my point about why people won’t agree to cuts. It is not because they are stupid and selfish. It is because they have no assurance that the money saved will actually go to cut the deficit and just not be spent somewhere else.

                  2. My bad. Misread the charts and included total govt spending instead of federal spending. Still Fed spending on those three alone is $1.9 trillion. So you have $600 bn afterwards. You add in defense in it’s current incarnation and already you’re above the revenue.

                2. “The people of this country are acting entirely rational when you consider that they are dealing with a completely craven and cynical political class.”

                  …which they elect. Hooray for rational irrationality (or at least ignorance)!

  3. American voter:

    Compelling me to do something is teh evulz!1!1!!1!!!!

    Compelling someone else to do something for me is for TEH GR8R GUDZ!!!!1!!111!!!!

    1. This is it in teh nutshellz.

  4. Why can’t people understand that forcing employers, manufacturers, etc. to pay for anything is tantamount to forcing employees, customers, etc. to pay for that same thing? Who do they think pays for this stuff? Investors? I don’t think so.

    1. Reason-Rupe pollsters were doing this thing where they would ask the same question a second time but adding the various consequences for consideration (since people who answer polls can’t recognize those on their own) and getting different results. I wonder why they didn’t do that here.

      1. Add in the clause “understanding that doing so will lower wages and raise prices”.

      2. Yeah, I like it when they do that. “Now, consider the case in which you are no longer an economic ignoramus. How would you answer then?”

  5. Ahhh, the wisdom of the mob. This is why you need guns and ammo on hand, just in case.

    1. But you have to give it to them: They are good at guessing jelly-bean counts and steer weights. Now if only our socio-political instutitions could be made to resemble the county fair…

  6. I would like to also see the answers to, “If you owned a business, should they government be allowed to force you to provide free health insurance to your employees?”

    1. Would you accept lower returns on your stock investment portfolio in return for forcing all employers to provide health insurance to all employees?

      1. Imagine that enclosed in quotes and asked by the pollster.

  7. We are SO fucked.

    1. And that is why that whore Fluke was convinced of the medical necessity of providing free birth control.

      You see, once you recognize we’re all getting fucked, the logic is ironclad.

      1. Isn’t a fluke a parasitic fish?

        1. My bad, it’s a flounder.

          1. Actually, a fluke is parasitic helminth, such a liver fluke, class platyhelmenthes (flatworms).

            1. That’s what I was thinking of. There’s also (according to Wikipete) a flounder that’s called a fluke.

              1. I learned that from a Woody Allen movie, of all things.

  8. Forget this, hire STEVE SMITH to do the Reason-Rape Poll.

  9. From Forbes: Feds had previously mandated health insurance.
    This would have been a good arguement … if the O Administration had bothered to prepare.…..e-in-1798/

    1. Doesn’t apply here. The Congress has absolute power to “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations”.

      That was an exercise of that power not the commerce power. The merchant men were all engaged in international trade.

      1. Which has always been my bitch about the commerce clause interpretations. The commerce clause gives congress the power to regulate commerce “with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes”.

        If you accept the argument that Congress can regulate a given activity under the commerce clause, does it matter where that activity takes place? In other words, if the commerce clause allows the individual mandate, why does the individual mandate only extend to the several states? Why are Belgians and Mexicans and Iraqis exempted?

  10. Yes to employer mandate
    No to individual mandate

    Wait. What about the self-employed?

    1. “What about the self-employed?”

      It doesn’t matter, self-employed people are retarded, so we will get free healthcare because of our disability.

      How retarded am I? It took me 30 years to figure out I was retarded. Any normal person, faced with all the various ways government fucks over the self-employed, would realize in about 5 minutes what it took me 30 years to learn – the government really really really hates self-employed people.

  11. Yanno, Ekins, and other Reason-Rupe pollsters, why don’t you just quit beating around the bush and ask the very simple, direct, Occam’ed, and Socratic question:

    “Is Health Care a civil right”

    THEN ask:

    “Who is responsible for payment?”

    I will bet dollars to donuts your polls will have a higher response with very few “don’t knows” and will be much more conclusive.

    Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ…and I was having a relatively good day…

  12. Hmm. I’m gone for two weeks, and come back to find out that they won. The trolls finally forced us into registration.

    Anyway, I have to agree with John up above. It’s not so much people are morons, so much as that they’re smart enough to know not to trust a goddamn thing the gov’t does or says it will do. It’s a permanently downward spiral, and while not trying to be pessimistic, I honestly believe nothing will change until there is a total collapse of the system.

    And I don’t think that it will happen over night. The Euros are way more in debt than we are, and the bond market continued to support them. As it continues to support the Japs. We’re in for decades of stagnation and decline before anything dramatic enough happens that forces change.

    I’ve spent the last two weeks in Hong Kong. Capitalist paradise compared to here. They even use privately printed money (so long as the banks have the gold to back up what they’re printing). Except for the taxis, which are heavily, heavily regulated for some reason, and the housing, because there isn’t enough of it (550 sq. ft. flat in mediocre part of town = $350,000 USD).

    Also, with registration, is the character limit still in place?

    1. It’s up to 1500.

      They didn’t win. Your house finally getting robbed so much that you start locking your front door is not a win for the burglars.

      1. Yeah SF but the burglars are trying to get shit out of your house. Locking your door thwarts the their goal.

        The Troll Goal was to force us to change the way we do business here (so to speak), to be so annoying that something fundamental had to change. And they succeeded. They accomplished their goal.

        1. That’s a load of shit, Jimbo. They had changed the way we did business. The registration allows us to go back to normal. You weren’t at H&R before, back in the normal days, so it seems different to you, but what you were used to wasn’t the norm; it was the infested H&R.

    2. Hey Jim! I was just wondering yesterday to where you have gone.

      I honestly believe nothing will change until there is a total collapse of the system.

      I spent 10 days in UKR in FEB, and I cannot agree with you more. I expect to be out of the US before the end of the year.

      1. Um, if you believe the system is on the verge of collapse, why in the world would you want to move to Ukraine?

        1. Believe it or not, UKR is more free market, particularly in the area of medical tourism, than the US. More freedom to practice medicine with less government intrusion btwixt patient and doctor, and access to methods of TX and intervention not currently available in the US, but still have pretty modern medical tech at my fingertips.

          They are running from the centralized approach as we are running faster towards it.

          1. They are running from the centralized approach as we are running faster towards it.

            Wow, it’s almost as if people with 1st-hand experience of TrueCentralPlanning know for a fact that it doesn’t work. How about that.

    3. It won’t collapse. The government will go broke and have to live within its means. But the country is not the government.

    4. Actually Gojira, the threads have been kinda fun again the last few days. We’ll see how the weekend goes.

    5. The threads have been much better. It sucks they had to do it. But when you have a lunatic ruining every single thread, what choice do you have?

  13. “It remains unclear how Americans reconcile support for the employer mandate but opposition to the individual mandate.”

    Very simple: Americans fundamentally believe in karma. If you work- you are rewarded. If you sit on your ass you don’t deserve a reward. See also: the And and the Grasshopper. And since we resoundingly mock the idea that “corporations are people” they have no status under the Constitution or rights to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness.

    1. *Ant

  14. So, 95% want some one else to pay for their health care. The other 5% must be that all powerful libertarian group.

  15. I am somewhat surprised by the numbers – I would have thought the spread would be much greater. I don’t think people are all that opposed to mandated insurance – as long as somebody else is paying for it.

    Most small business employers/employees know where their paychecks come from, they know that employer-provided insurance isn’t actually provided by the employer, it is part of the employee pay package. The employee is paying for the insurance.

    OTOH, I think in many large companies, employees really don’t see where their paycheck comes from. They tend to want to do as little work as possible for as much pay as possible – because Fuck The Man. They really do think employer-provided insurance is something additional to their pay package.

    1. While I find that explanation intuitively appealing, and would have agreed wholeheartedly at one time, I have met far too many small-business employees who cheat and steal from their bosses because of “Fuck the Man.”

      Old Mr. Roberts at the neighborhood hardware store? — The Man. Family business? — The Man. The moment you make any business decisions, the moment you have any profit in the offing, the moment you become a stockholder and not merely a “stakeholder,” you become The Man. They don’t call it the “petty bourgeoisie” for nothing.

      (I blame this generation’s adherence to essentially Marxist sociological categories, purposive to intellectually justifying their general indolence and lack of integrity — they need to pull up their pants, and get their collective asses off of my lawn.)

      All that being said, bureaucracies definitely entail their own joyous forms of alienation and byzantine non-accountability. The latter part is, I suspect, the key. When it’s just you and old man Roberts, or you and dad, both parties have a good idea who is self-legislating fringe benefits, not to mention what the incentives are.

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