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For Immediate Release
October 14, 2020

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PA Chamber: Poll Finds a Majority of Pennsylvanians Don’t Want Government-Run Health Care

HARRISBURG - A new poll released today by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry shows that a majority of likely voters in the Commonwealth are opposed to the creation of a government-run health care system. Often referred to as a “public option,” this type of health care system would increase the number of individuals receiving health care benefits provided by the federal government, and would leave taxpayers on the hook to pay for it.


“As the economy continues to reel from the COVID-19 pandemic, the last thing policymakers should be looking at doing is increasing costs on taxpayers,” said PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr.  “A new government-run health care insurance system, like the public option, would increase taxes on Pennsylvania workers, with some estimates projecting a payroll tax increase of $2,300 for maintaining health care coverage. This poll shows that the majority of Pennsylvanians agree that a new government-run program that will lead to higher taxes is not in the best interests of so many people across this Commonwealth who are already struggling to make ends meet.”


The statewide survey of 500 likely Pennsylvania voters found that more than 60 percent oppose paying more in taxes to fund a new government-run health insurance system. Additionally, the poll revealed that Pennsylvanians are satisfied overall with the coverage they currently have through employer-sponsored plans, Medicare or Medicaid. Of the likely voters surveyed, 88 percent report being satisfied with their coverage — with nearly 6 in 10 saying they are very satisfied. Additionally, 70 percent of those polled believe that private insurance should be available and play a role in the nation’s current health care system. 


“Health care has been a prevalent issue during this election cycle.” Barr added. “Politicians on both sides of the aisle should take note of the poll’s findings that 88 percent of Pennsylvanians are satisfied with their current coverage and 60 percent of Pennsylvanians would be less inclined to support a candidate who would eliminate private health care insurance and replace it with a government-controlled system. Politicians should focus on what’s working and fixing the parts of our health care system that are not. They shouldn’t be pushing government controlled-health care that will drive competition out of the marketplace.”


Multiple studies have shown that the creation of a government-run public option health care system would lead to significant financial costs on American taxpayers. According to a recent study that was completed with support from the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, a public option program could increase the federal deficit by $700 billion and lead to a new 4.8 percent payroll tax on American families over the course of 30 years. Additionally, a study conducted earlier this year by FTI Consulting found that a public option could increase hospital revenue losses by 60 percent, when compared to current levels. That level of a financial impact could force more than half of all U.S. hospitals into the red, threatening access to and quality of health care for tens of millions of Americans.


The PA Chamber-sponsored survey was conducted by Harper Polling, a CYGNAL Company, and took place between September 30 and October 1. 


The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its statewide membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.