The Hill: Poll: 12 percent back individual mandate taking effect in 2014
A new survey finds only 12 percent of respondents support implementing ObamaCare’s individual mandate, which fines consumers who don’t acquire health insurance, in 2014 as prescribed by law.
Forty-one percent said consumers shouldn’t have to pay a penalty if they don’t have insurance, according to the poll from HealthPocket, a consumer resource on health insurance.
A plurality, 47 percent, said they were not sure if the fines should take effect as scheduled.
The poll’s findings follow the Obama administration’s recent announcement that it will not require larger businesses to offer healthcare coverage until 2015, delaying a key provision in the president’s signature domestic legislation.
As of now, individuals will still be required to carry health insurance starting next year or pay a fine.
Business groups had pushed for more flexibility under the employer mandate, citing delayed rule-making and confusion over reporting requirements.
White House officials said the delay would allow firms more time to prepare to comply with the new rules.
Republicans quickly attacked the decision as evidence that the entire Affordable Care Act is unworkable.
Critics also argued if businesses deserve relief from the law’s requirements, so do individuals.
“I think what the president did was outrageous,” Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said at a press conference on Tuesday.
“The idea that we’re going to give big businesses a break under ObamaCare, but we’re going to punish small businesses and families? It’s wrong.”
HealthPocket noted that in its survey, supporters of delaying the individual mandate outnumbered opponents more than three-to-one.
Of those who were not sure, many were people under age 35, the survey said.
Next year, individuals without coverage will pay $95 or 1 percent of their annual income. The fine will increase to $695 or 2.5 percent of annual income — whichever is highest — over time.
The survey of 884 people was conducted July 3-5 and has a margin of error of about 3.5 percent.
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