By Emily White and Michael J. LeventhalThe New York Times/CBS News/Marist Poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates Inc. on March 5-7 found that a majority of respondents believe the state’s insurance companies will cover malpractice claims in the event of an emergency.
The poll found that 58 percent of respondents said that the state will cover some or all of the costs of malpractice victims’ medical bills.
A quarter (26 percent) said the state would cover only the costs.
A third (33 percent) thought the state won’t cover the cost.
The poll found the state to be the most likely to pay for medical malpractice damages, with 65 percent of residents saying the state should pay.
Thirty-two percent of the respondents said they would consider voting against a bill that would provide a fund for victims of medical malcontent to collect the damages.
A third of the poll respondents (30 percent) also said they thought the hospitals that provide medical care would pay for the costs, while 28 percent said they were unsure.
A quarter (25 percent) of respondents who were unsure said they planned to vote against the bill.
The state is the second largest in the country to offer insurance coverage for medical claims, after New York.
Other states with the largest share of uninsured residents include Illinois (24 percent), Rhode Island (17 percent), Michigan (17.8 percent) and Pennsylvania (16.5 percent).
States that don’t offer insurance include Maryland (8.4 percent), Vermont (8 percent), Hawaii (8%) and Minnesota (8.)
“This poll highlights that the majority of Americans believe insurance companies should pay for malpractice costs, even when they are not required to do so by law,” said Mark Rosenberg, executive director of the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.
“More than half (53 percent) believe insurers should be required to cover malcontent damages, even though they are prohibited from doing so under state law.
Only about one in five (18 percent) say that insurers should not have to cover the costs.”
The poll was conducted among a random sample of 2,063 registered voters, and the margin of error was plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.