Public To Politicians: Do Something On Health Care

What do Americans want from Washington on health overhaul?

Opinion is evenly split on overhaul legislation, with 43 percent of Americans in favor of passage and 43 percent opposed, according to the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll.

But ask people about specifics, and the picture changes quite a bit. More than two-thirds of people favor important planks in the administration's overhaul plan.

Oh, really? What do they like?

Ask people how important reforming the way health insurance works is, and 76 percent say it's "extremely" or "very important." Even a majority of Republicans—64 percent—see things that way.

Other planks that do well: providing insurance tax credits for small businesses, closing the Medicare "doughnut hole" for prescription drugs and creating insurance marketplaces for the purchase of individual plans.

A majority of Americans blame the politicians for the lack of action. Some 59 percent say the delays are a result of both parties "playing politics," Kaiser says. And in an ominous sign ahead of mid-term elections, almost three in five of the people polled said they would be either disappointed or angry if nothing gets done.

Who knows if those findings will have any effect on the legislators convening Thursday for President Obama's health summit. Results of other polls rounded up by the Washington Post have been showing for a while that Americans like some of the particulars of contained in the administration's proposal, even if by some measures the nation remains split on the passage of legislation that would make them a reality.



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