Uninsured Republicans as likely to pay fine as obtain coverage

December 4, 2013

Republicans without health insurance are just as likely to pay the fine imposed by the federal health-care law as they are to obtain coverage to avoid the penalty, a new Gallup poll released Tuesday shows.

Forty-six percent of Republicans who are uninsured say they plan to get insurance next year, while 45 percent say they plan to pay the fine. Democrats take a very different approach: Eighty percent say they plan to get coverage, while just 15 percent say they plan to pay the penalty. A smaller majority of uninsured independents (58 percent) say they plan to get insurance.

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Given the GOP opposition to the law, the split is not surprising. Overall, 63 percent of uninsured Americans plan to get coverage, according to the survey. Twenty-eight percent say they plan to pay the fine.

As Gallup notes, the fact that young people are no more likely to pay the fine than older Americans bodes well for the law. Young, healthy people are a key variable in the whole thing. In order for premiums to be kept low, enough young and healthy people have to enroll in plans offered in the new exchanges.

The bottom line is that deeply partisan attitudes toward Obamacare continue to be visible in various ways and enrollment in new plans in no exception.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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Sean Sullivan · December 4, 2013