A recent SoonerPoll, which asked several questions pertaining to Medicare and the health insurance industry, finds that many have favorable opinions of government run health care.  The study found that 74.6 percent of Oklahomans have a favorable opinions of Medicare, which is a government run health care system, and only 33.4 percent have favorable opinions of the private health care system.

A large percentage of Oklahoma liberals – 84.5 percent – favor the Medicare system but when asked about the private health insurance industry 61.2 percent of liberals have unfavorable opinions.

Similarly, 70.7 percent of conservatives have favorable opinions of the Medicare system. 62.6 percent of those conservatives with favorable opinions of medicare also favor the tea party movement.  In fact, 71.4 percent of all those who find the Tea Party movement favorable, favor the medicare system, compared to just 40.3 percent who favor the private health insurance industry.

It is interesting to note that those with favorable opinions of the Tea Party movement, which has sided with private insurers in the recent fight against government run health care, have favorable opinions of the Medicare system and unfavorable opinions of the private health insurance system.

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, commissioned and conducted the scientific study using live interviewers by telephone of 1000 likely voters from February 25 – March 8. The study has a margin of error of ± 3.1 percent.

PDF files containing Results and Analysis

Support for a public option high among older Oklahomans

Results of the poll also found that 85 percent of respondents over the age of 65 have favorable opinions of Medicare. Medicare is a social insurance program administered by the government and is the equivalent to the public option, which was so controversial in the recent health care debates, for citizens over the age of 65.

When asked about the health insurance industry only 34.7 percent of those over the age of 65 had favorable opinions.

Interestingly 83.7 percent of respondents over the age of 65 with favorable opinions of the Tea Party movement also held favorable opinions of the Medicare system. Of those same respondents, only 42 percent have favorable opinions of the health insurance industry.

“The results reveal that the overwhelming majority of Oklahomans who currently have a public option are happy with it,” Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll, said. “Despite this fact, the recent health care reform law does not include a public option to avoid creating competition for the private health insurance industry which is overwhelmingly unpopular among all respondents, especially those who qualify for Medicare.”

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