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Public Wants Health Care, not Tax Cuts, says National Poll

        (based on article by Grant McCool, Reuters News Service, May 29, 2003)

Nearly two-thirds of Americans would have preferred the Bush administration had extended health care to 41 million uninsured people than cut taxes, according to a poll published on Thursday.

More than one-third were willing to pay higher taxes to raise money for a universal health care plan.

The survey’s director said the poll found that in the slow economy, Americans were concerned about rising medical costs and having health insurance coverage.

”These concerns translate into support for broad government action on behalf of the uninsured even if it means having to forego a tax cut,” said Leonie Huddy, director of the university’s Center for Survey Research.

Nearly three out of four respondents also want the government to require employers to provide health insurance to all employees, said Stony Brook, which has 22,000 students and is a leading U.S. public research university on Long Island.

The survey said 63 percent of Americans favored universal health care to tax cuts. In addition, 36 percent said they were willing to pay higher taxes to deal with the problem of America’s estimated 41 million uninsured.

The poll indicated a preference for action on health insurance instead of a tax cut among 72 percent of Democrats, 53 percent of Republicans and 65 percent of independents.

Bush signed a bill on Wednesday that will reduce income tax rates, increase credits for children in some households, cut tax rates on capital gains and dividends, and give small businesses tax breaks over the next 10 years.

The ”Health Pulse of America” poll of 810 adults was conducted by Stony Brook University from May 1 through May 20, 2003. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.


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