January 2011 MRG Michigan Poll
Public Perceptions of Restructuring Public Employee Healthcare Benefits In Michigan
From January 24 through 27, 2011, Marketing Resource Group (MRG) conducted a statewide poll of likely voters in Michigan. The telephone survey of 600 randomly selected likely voters has a margin of error of ± 4 percent within a 95% degree of confidence. The poll covered various topics related to Michigan such as legislation, politics, general mood of the electorate, and consumer issues. One topic on the poll was the potential plan to restructure health care benefits for all state and local government and public school employees in Michigan. The proposal would mandate that Michigan's 400 thousand state and local government and public school employees and retirees get their health insurance coverage from a single health care plan operated by state government, much like the so-called Obamacare health plan.
Most Michiganders Continue to Oppose a Proposal to Pool Public Employees Into a Government-Run Health Care Plan
As we’ve seen in previous polls, voters who say they oppose this proposal are more prevalent in areas outside of Metro Detroit and the I-75 corridor.
Strong majorities of ticket splitters and behavioral Republicans and a plurality of Democrats say they oppose it.
While there is no significant correlation across age or gender groups. A majority of respondents oppose it in each group.
Voters Continue To Fear Additional Costs To Taxpayers
& Local School Districts
With findings nearly the same as a similar poll taken in September of 2009, three out of four voters (74 percent) would not support this proposal after hearing that similar plans have failed in other states and that it could require hundreds of millions of dollars in bailouts from taxpayers, local governments and school districts.
What If You Learned: State government-run health plans in other states have failed to reduce health care costs and required huge taxpayer bailouts. Last year North Carolina's state health plan ran out of money and taxpayers were forced to pay for a $658 million bailout.
What If You Learned: The proposal is much like the Obamacare health insurance plan because it gives state government new power to review and overrule decisions and treatment plans that patients and their doctors have agreed on.
What If You Learned: The proposal will standardize coverage forcing all public employees and retirees to choose from the same set of health benefit plans which will be more closely aligned with those offered to public employees in other states and in the private sector.
As we’ve seen in previous polls, voters continue to oppose the plan to create a government-run health care system for public employees and retirees. Weighing heaviest on their minds are the financial risk and potential cost to taxpayers, local governments and school districts. In addition, voters’ perceptions of the so-called Obamacare plan seem to be driving opposition against this proposal. And the argument that this will align public employee plans closer to those in the private sector is not winning over voters. Creating a new state government-run health plan doesn’t make sense to voters, especially if it means they’ll pay more in taxes and give government increased power over health care.