July 1st, 2009
05:00 AM ET
6 years ago

CNN Poll: Americans worry Obama health care plan will increase costs

WASHINGTON (CNN)– A new national poll suggests that a bare majority of Americans support President Barack Obama's health care plan.

But the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday morning indicates that most people are worried that their health care costs would go up if the administration's proposals are passed and only one in five think that their families would be better off under the Obama plan.

Fifty-one percent of people questioned in the poll say they favor the president's health care plan, with 45 percent opposed. Obama aims to bring down health care costs and provide medical insurance to many of the more than 45 million Americans currently without coverage. His proposals, which are making their way through five different congressional committees in the Senate and the House, also call for a government-run health insurance program to compete with private insurers.

"Women and younger Americans are slightly more likely to support Obama's approach to health care," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Those are usually the groups that are more concerned about health care and health insurance."

The poll suggests that 55 percent think the U.S. health care system is in need of a great deal of reform, with four in ten saying only some reform is needed. Nearly half of those questioned have more trust in the President rather than Republicans in Congress to handle health care form, with 38 percent backing the congressional Republicans over Obama.

A government run health insurance program is one of the most controversial parts of the Obama health reform proposals, with Republicans suggesting that such a plan could force current health care providers out of business, forcing Americans to switch doctors. The poll indicates such arguments may not be working.

"Two-thirds believe that the president's plan would allow them to see the same doctors they currently receive care from, and most say that their health insurance provider would not go out of business if Obama's plan is passed," says Holland.

But the poll does provide some ammunition for Republicans opposed to the president's proposals. Fifty-four percent say their medical insurance costs will increase if the Obama plan becomes law, with 17 percent feeling their costs will decrease. Around one in four say their costs will remain the same. And only one in five say their family will be better off if the president's plan becomes law, with 35 percent feeling they would be worse off, and 44 percent saying they would be about the same.

The Obama push for health care reform is the first major wide scale drive for overhaul by an administration since President Bill Clinton's failed attempts in 1993 and 1994. The poll finds some interesting comparisons.

"In September of 1993, when Bill Clinton was just starting to roll out his ill-fated health care plan, 54 percent said they supported Clinton's ideas on that issue. Today 51 percent feel the same way about Obama's proposals," Holland says. "That indicates that Obama may have his work cut out for him in the coming months."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Friday through Sunday, with 1,026 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Filed under: President Obama
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