Poll: Many Americans Would Rather Pay Tax Than Get Insurance

Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 02:56 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Nearly 40 percent of Americans would rather pay a mandated tax than buy health insurance, a new Princeton Survey Research Associates Poll reveals.

Many Americans remain confused, however, about the possible fines for not signing up, the poll of 1,013 adults discovered, reports Fox News.

The Princeton poll found that 38 percent would rather pay the tax. The number is a bit higher than in a recent Gallup poll that found 28 percent would rather pay the tax.

But the poll also had good implications for Obamacare, which depends on young, healthy adults' signing up for insurance in order to keep costs down. The poll shows that 65 percent of Americans between 18 and 29 would buy insurance, compared to 57 percent of Americans older than 30.

"One of the key questions surrounding the Affordable Care Act is whether or not young Americans – especially healthy young Americans – will sign up for health insurance," said Laura Adams, insuranceQuotes.com's senior analyst. "This research sheds a positive light on that segment of the population. However, it's concerning that about three in 10 Americans still don't know about the possible fines."

According to a hypothetical scenario used in the poll, a 45-year-old person who earns $50,000 a year would pay $3,000 a year, but a tax of only $400 if that person does not buy insurance.

The poll also found that 74 percent of Democrats, as opposed to 40 percent of Republicans and 56 percent of independents, would buy insurance policies.

But it said many Americans do not understand the penalties, which equal the greater of $95 or 1 percent of household income above the filing threshold of $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for families.

In addition, almost eight in 10 people polled think children under the age of 18 are exempt from the mandate, which they are not. Further, another six of 10 polled erroneously think senior citizens older than 65 are exempt.

But 64 percent say they "know" where the mandate tax is being collected from: their own federal income tax return.

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