A majority of U.S employers want to continue to provide health care coverage but are against the idea of the government requiring them to do so.

Researchers at Buck Consultants, New York, a unit of Affiliated Computer Services Inc., Dallas, have based that conclusion on a survey of about 160 U.S. employers.

Only about 32% of the employers said they want to get out of the business of providing health coverage, and only 17% said they think that a law requiring employers to offer coverage would really expand the number of Americans with health coverage, the researchers report.

Other survey findings:

- If a mandate becomes law, then two-thirds of the employers want to have the discretion to design the plans.

- Only 21% of participants said expanding coverage by increasing competition between employer plans and individual insurance policies would reduce the number of uninsured.

- 72% said increasing competitions between individual and group plans would drive healthy employees into the individual insurance market, leaving older, sicker employees in the employer plans.