February 2012 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll

February 2012 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll

Sixty-three percent of Americans, including 60 percent of Catholics, support a new federal requirement calling for employer health insurance plans to cover the cost of birth control, while 33 percent oppose it, a national poll conducted by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation finds. According to the February 2012 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll (10 pages, PDF), support varies more by party affiliation and age than by gender: 83 percent of Democrats (85 percent of women, 80 percent of men), 62 percent of Independents (67 percent vs. 58 percent), and only 42 percent of Republicans (same for women and men) support the mandate, while younger respondents (ages 18-49) are more likely to support it than those age 50 and older. The survey also found that 43 percent of Republican women saw the debate over allowing religious institutions to opt out of the mandate as an issue of religious freedom, compared with 22 percent and 10 percent of Independent and Democratic women, respectively. In contrast, 43 percent of Democratic women saw it as an issue of women's rights, while only 23 percent and 8 percent of Independent and Republican women did. Overall, 29 percent of women said the issue of reproductive health care was "extremely important" to their vote, compared with 18 percent of men.