Poll Finds Mass. Residents Split Over New Health Insurance Requirement

June 20, 2007

Massachusetts residents are split on the question of whether they should be required to pay for health insurance.

Nine out of ten residents say they know about the state’s new health care law, but 49 percent of those questioned said residents shouldn’t be required to buy insurance if they don’t want it, according to a new poll conducted by Suffolk University and WHDH-TV.

Slightly less, 42 percent, said residents should be required to be insured.

The new law requires nearly everyone be insured by June 30. Those who don’t have insurance by the end of the year will face a penalty on their taxes next April.

An overwhelming majority of those polled, 92 percent, said everyone had a right to health care and 79 percent believed that free health care should be provided to those below the poverty level.

The law provides free insurance for those making less than the federal poverty level and subsidized care for those making up to three times that amount.

The poll of 400 residents was conducted from June 4 to June 7 and has margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

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