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Americans Back Higher Health Insurance Rates for Smokers

Fifty-eight percent of Americans say health insurance companies would be justified in setting higher rates for people who smoke, while only 41% support setting higher rates for those who are significantly overweight, according to a Gallup survey...
August 14, 2013

Fifty-eight percent of Americans say health insurance companies would be justified in setting higher rates for people who smoke, while only 41% support setting higher rates for those who are significantly overweight, according to a Gallup survey.

Americans who smoke or are overweight are less likely to support punitive insurance rates that would affect them personally. Support for higher health insurance rates for smokers and the significantly overweight is stronger among Republicans than among Democrats. Republicans (47%) are more likely than Democrats (37%) to say it is justifiable to have higher health insurance rates for people who are significantly overweight. Republicans are also slightly more supportive than Democrats of setting higher insurance rates for smokers. Differences in smoking and weight status cannot explain these partisan differences: Democrats are one percentage point more likely to be overweight and to smoke than Republicans.

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