Illinois voters evenly split on health care reform

Chicago Tribune reports:

“WGN-TV poll shows 45 percent in favor, 45 percent opposed
February 18, 2012|By Bob Secter | Chicago Tribune reporter

Illinois voters are split over health care reform, even as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to weigh the constitutionality of a crucial piece of President Barack Obama’s signature initiative.

A new Tribune/WGN-TV poll found that 45 percent of voters here think the president’s plan to broaden health coverage is fine as is or needs strengthening. Another 45 percent felt just the opposite, that it should be repealed or made less comprehensive.

Statewide, the results were nearly the same when voters were asked about a controversial component of the health care package that requires everyone to buy or receive health insurance, with subsidies provided for low-income people.

The high court next month will hear arguments on the insurance mandate and is expected to rule by June, as Obama is preparing to defend his presidency in the November elections. All his potential Republican challengers have vowed to push for repeal of the health care plan.

The concept of health care reform is popular among Democrats and reviled among Republicans, the poll showed.

Two much-wooed voting blocs eyed the reforms differently. Among white suburban women, 51 percent said they liked the reforms or wanted them stronger, while 34 percent felt they should be repealed or eased. The results were almost reversed among voters who identified themselves as political independents.

Female voters, regardless of location or race, were more disposed to favor the insurance mandate (50 percent for and 39 percent against) than male voters (53 percent against and 39 percent for). The mandate gained broad support from voters in the city and in suburban Cook County but was not popular among voters in the collar counties or Downstate.”