KTUU: Most Alaskans against health care reform, poll says

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- With Democrats' ability to pass health care reform on the line in a U.S. Senate special election in Massachusetts, a recent poll here in Alaska shows that more than half of Alaskans want their congressional delegation to vote against the legislation.

According to a poll completed by Dittman Research the last week of December, 64 percent of Alaskans expect their health costs to increase, and 60 percent say they expect the quality of their care to decline if the health care plan becomes law.

Overall, the poll shows 88 percent of Alaskans are satisfied with their current healthcare coverage -- a number Sen. Lisa Murkowski says reflects how Alaskans feel about health care reform.

"They do not believe that it is going to lower their health care costs and their premiums," Murkowski said. "And they don't believe that it is going to increase the quality of their care."

"The health care bill is basically what I campaigned on -- it's what I talked about," Sen. Mark Begich said at the Performing Arts Center downtown. "If we judged everything by polls, we wouldn't have Medicare today. We wouldn't have civil rights today -- we wouldn't have a convention center or this facility we're in today."

If Democrats lose the Massachusetts seat, previously held by late Sen. Ted Kennedy, they also lose the 60-vote Senate supermajority necessary to pass health care legislation.

Massachusetts' election will be held on Tuesday.

Source: Originally broadcast by KTUU on January 17, 2010