It seems the 2008 presidential race has provided quite the platform for the national debate over mandated health insurance. All the main Democratic candidates support a plan to require coverage at some level. Senator Hillary Clinton and former Senator John Edwards would require all Americans to have coverage, while Senator Barack Obama would require all children to be covered. No major Republican candidates would require Americans to have health insurance.
In general, Democrats are for requirements on employers to make coverage available to their employees, and to either pay for that coverage, or contribute significantly. Republicans, on the other hand, are more in favor of using tax breaks to encourage individuals to purchase private health insurance. Employers would not be as burdened with the responsibility of providing coverage for their employees under such an approach.
In a recent survey conducted by The Commonwealth Fund, Americans were asked about their opinions on mandated health insurance. The results followed party lines with 80 percent of Democrats, 68 percent of Independents and 52 percent of Republicans supporting such a program.