While the Affordable Care Act remains a source of controversy one of its primary tenets, the creation of state-based health insurance exchanges enjoys considerable support, according to a new survey from the AARP.

The survey, conducted Dec. 13-16 2011, queried 703 registered voters in Idaho about a variety of health issues. When asked whether they favored creation of a health insurance marketplace, respondents overwhelmingly indicated their support. Interestingly, the support cut across partisan lines with 77 percent of Republicans, 78 percent of Democrats and 73 percent of Independents backing the measure.

"When asked their opinions on a health insurance marketplace, citizens of the Gem State speak loud and clear,” Jim Wordelman, State Director for AARP in Idaho said in a statement. “Idahoans want it. Idahoans need it."

The study also found widespread unease about the cost of health insurance, with 80 percent of respondents worrying about having to pay more for health insurance, while 70 percent indicated fear of not being able to afford the health care services they may need. Moreover, respondents indicated that the health exchanges should prioritize consumers above insurers, with nearly 90 percent indicating it's important for the exchange to put the needs of individuals and small businesses before those of insurance companies.

"Many of the struggles and concerns facing Idahoans when it comes to paying for health insurance will be addressed if we take the right, consumer-centered approach, to developing a state-based health insurance exchange," added Wordelman.

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