In addition to those supporting a full employer mandate, about one-quarter of the 1,479 people polled expressed support for mandated coverage for some workers, and another 10% expressed support for an employer mandate for large employers only. Only 10% of the survey was against any kind of government mandate on employee health-care coverage, according to the study authored by Claudia Schur and Marc Berk of NORC at the University of Chicago in Bethesda, Maryland, and Jill Yegian of the California HealthCare Foundation in Oakland.
“Support for mandated coverage may reflect increasing anxiety among Americans as they observe – and experience – the effects of increasing medical care costs,” Schur says in a news release. “If so, support for mandated coverage may continue unless alternative solutions address underlying concerns.”
Taking it one step further, seven out of 10 Americans believe that employers should be required to pay for most of the cost of health insurance for their employees. Similar high levels of support were found among those that believe there should be assistance for low-income workers to pay their premiums (73%) and were in favor of mandating dependent coverage in employer health-care plans (85%).
The highest levels of support for a full employer mandate were found among minorities, the poor, the uninsured, and those with less education. At the same time, members of those same groups were less likely to believe the mandate would adversely affect their own wages or employment status.
In California, which is facing a referendum on whether or not to repeal recent legislation requiring employers to pay for health insurance for employees (See CA Appeals Court Pulls Out of Health Insurance Fight ) the results differed slightly from the national averages – less than half of the California sample believed the government should place mandates on health-care coverage.
Sixty-five percent of Californians believe employers should be required to pay for most of the cost of health insurance for their employees. Further, 74% believe that there should be assistance for low-income workers to pay their premiums and 81% of those in California were in favor of including dependent coverage in the employer mandate. As for opposition, only 13% of working-age adults in California were against any kind of health-care mandate.