Health Care Freedom and Public Opinion

Although many people are wary of political polling, a lot can be ascertained about the public’s general feelings toward ideas, situations, and legislation. And, while many are right in their skepticism, good polling does exist as an art form, perfected over many years by experts from many fields. Moreover, when polling is done well, policymakers can use the information to make changes or improvements to the things in question.

A highly relevant  and interesting poll from the Civitas Institute came out this week looking at North Carolinian’s opinion of the NC Legislature’s Health Care Freedom Act (HB2). Findings conclude that among those who chose a side, more agree with the Legislature than the Governor.

“The Protect Health Care Freedom Act would have made it illegal to require any North Carolinian to purchase health insurance, or punish anyone for not buying it. It also would have required the Attorney General to defend any state citizen against federal lawsuits stemming from the mandate. Governor Perdue has vetoed this Act. With that in mind, are you more in agreement with…”

The Legislature who passed this bill – 47%

Governor Perdue who vetoed this bill – 40%

Don’t Know/Refused – 12%

Of possibly greater interest to those in the Governor’s office and the respective political parties are the results of the follow up question asking how the Governor’s veto of HB2 affects her likelihood of re-election. This question was only asked of those that said they supported the Legislature or answered “I don’t know” to the previous question.

“Does Governor Perdue’s veto of the Protect Health Care Freedom Act make you more or less likely to vote for her in 2010 for re-election?”


Total More Likely – 7%

Total Less Likely – 60%

Much More Likely – 3%

Somewhat More Likely – 4%

Somewhat Less Likely – 16%

Much Less Likely – 44%

No Difference – 28%

Don’t Know/Refused – 6%

Statistics for these polls, including cross tabulations and full results, can be found here.

For more Civitas polls, click here.

Nicole Fisher

Nicole Fisher is a current PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina in the Health Policy and Management Department. She also currently writes health care policy for t...

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