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Massachusetts Health Reform Tracking Survey

This survey finds that, with a July 1 implementation milestone approaching, most Massachusetts residents support a new state law to provide health coverage to almost all residents, including the individual mandate that requires residents to obtain coverage or pay a penalty.

The poll, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Harvard School of Public Health and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, finds support for the new health insurance law has increased. In this recent poll, two-thirds (67%) of state residents who have heard of the new health insurance law support it, compared with 16% who oppose it. In a poll conducted September 2006, six in 10 residents (61%) who had heard of the law said they supported it.

In addition, more than half (57%, compared to 52% in September) say they support the law’s individual mandate requirements, compared with 36% who oppose it.

Residents who support the law mainly say it is because they believe “it is the right thing to do” (90% of those who support say this is a major reason) and because they believe broader coverage will keep costs down by providing more incentives for preventive care (79%). Among the small group of residents who oppose the law, most say people shouldn’t be required to buy insurance if they can’t afford it (72%) or if they don’t want it (61%).

The random-sample telephone poll of 1,003 residents was conducted between May 29 and June 10 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points for results based on the full sample. The margin of error is higher for results based on subgroups.

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