July 1st, 2009
05:00 AM ET
5 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
soundoff (126 Responses)
  1. Randolph Carter

    All they need to do is legalize, regulate and tax weed and prostitution and tax porn. Public option paid for. Wasn't that easy? Have a nice day!

    July 1, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  2. nicole

    Health care reform is needed. However, this isn't something we should rush through just get it done. Both sides need to work together to make this health care plan the best that it can be.

    July 1, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  3. Tom St. Paul

    The problem is that the average American doesn't have a clue as to how much money there is in the health care system that is not buying good health for anyone. If this money was recaptured, it would more than pay for the kinds of reforms being proposed. Educate yourself people! Find out why health care is so much more expensive in McAllen, TX vs. at the Mayo Clinic. Read up on "unnecessary procedures". Look at the scientific evidence that proves the value of preventive medicine. Find out how much money we spend on unnecessary ER visits due to peoples' lack of insurance. And I'm not even talking about the huge profits of the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies, or the profits doctors make by owning imaging equipment for which they refer their patients "just to be sure"...

    July 1, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  4. DRB

    Our family pays for private insurance and goes without other "fluff" things in life. Sure I'd like the cost to be less, but I don't mind paying when I know I am covered well and receive the exact level of care I expect and am happy with.

    I think the number one issue for those who already are paying for private insurance is NOT the cost going up – but rather the quality of the care going DOWN and our freedoms of choice being taken away. I am sitting here today with an enlarged lymph node in my neck about to go have a CT scan to see if I have a cancer tumor. I have three young boys at home and by God I want to live!!! I don't want the government slowing down how fast I get treatment, telling me where I can get treatment, or refusing the best of treatment because it cost to much. Liberty is really what it comes down too – a loss of freedoms.

    July 1, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  5. Neilz

    Of course. That's the idea, isn't it? Making health care profitable for the insurance companies and manufacturers and doctors. It's all about increasing volume without losing on reimbursements. And if there is a problem maintaining an "acceptable" level of care, they can just ration care based on what Obama's bureaucrats think you should be allotted. How many visits this year. What they can get from reimbursements. Wether you filed a complaint on a quack.
    It's important the industry makes a profit. That universal access for the needy stuff will fix itself in time. Like unemployment. The housing market. And War.

    July 1, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  6. Mike Dallas

    51% approve of President Obama's plan and only 38% approve of the neo-con plan?

    I would say that America has spoken on the health care issue and the Dems should use the "reconciliation" aspect to get the health plan passed and not let the obstructionist, stop the will of the majority on the health care issue.

    After all, it was no less than Michael Steele that said "bi-partisanship is over-rateed".

    We simply agree the leader of the RNC.

    July 1, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  7. Peter

    Okay, now you are just making crap up? %72 of Americans support a Public Option. Where the hell did you get only %55 think Healt Care Reform is necessary?

    CNN< stop trying to make the news. Just report on it. This is absolutely rediculous.

    Everyone needs to boycott CNN. MSNBC tells the truth.

    July 1, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  8. PFFT

    How is he going to pay for it? It still sounds like the plan is to tax the benefits provided by our employers. That is a tax on EVERYONE. At least everyone who has a job and works for a living. Oh wait? Isn't that his idea? Put everyone on the dole.

    July 1, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  9. Nick

    Let's get real.

    As long as the AMA controls each and every aspect of American Health Care prices will continue to rise. It is, after asll, the most powerful union in the US and they curtail "apprentices" to keep the wages and benefits high. So any and all health care is going to contiue to go through the roof until we put some real market economies in the system.

    I would like to see the day when there were so many doctors around that their spouces would have to sell "Tupperware" to make ends meet.

    July 1, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  10. Independent Voter

    I bet John King had something to do with this story. I don't trust CNN anymore because of the many Republican partisans who have been hired, starting with Glen Beck. John King and that Chetry from American Morning, Mark Gallanos, etc.

    July 1, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  11. kyle from ohio

    Price for democratic plan on affordable health care: $1.6 trillion over ten years. Current spending by Americans that goes into the pockets of private insurers and health care providers: $2 trillion PER YEAR! The private companies are already ripping us off for over ten times the money the public option would give us.

    Our two tiered health system allows insurance companies to charge individuals one price while allowing drastic reductions to insurance companies. Health services should have the same price to individuals or insurance companies.

    It does not take more money to fix Health Care, because we are already spending the money on the current system, which by the way According to the World Health Organization we are now 37th in the world in healthcare, and the cost of our healthcare is far higher than any other Western Power. What we need to do is restructure how we are spending the money currently.

    July 1, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  12. Foreign observer

    The country needs now a courageous move on health care. Corrections and changements from lobby groups will come up later – no matter which kind of reform will succeed for the moment.

    July 1, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  13. Melissa

    Of course they do. Because the Republicans have been working so hard to scare them.

    The thing is, in every other country in the world, they all have socialized medicine and pay significantly less thant he US currently pays. Canada, for example, pays nearly half of what the US citizens do per year per citizen. Even adjusted for difference in the worth of a dollar and population thats still significantly less.

    There is no reason the US can't do it. The Republicans just don't want to because it would mean their insurance fraud company buddies wouldn't be able to rob people anymore.

    July 1, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  14. Allen in Hartwell GA

    I have never seen such selfish, aristocratic behavior in my life!!! Some of these people make me think of someone who, while they are going down in quicksand, refuse the rope you throw them because it hurts their hands. Others remind me of someone who will refuse a place on a raft for someone in the water because it might mean that everyone would get wet, knowing that the person in the water will eventually drown otherwise. What is wrong with us???

    July 1, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  15. Filby

    Government is never going to reduce healthcare costs – just look at how badly Medicare is run and how much it is costing us (it will bankrupt the country or incur massive tax increases) and now consider extending this model to everyone. If 46 m. people can't get healthcare, (a third of whom are illegal immigrants who would not qualify for healthcare anyway), why not design a program just for them, instead of throwing away the baby with the bathwater – existing programs that cover 300 m. people? Does healthcare need to be reformed even so? – yes. Get government out of over-regulating it. Eliminate restrictions you and I have on purchasing insurance sold in other states not regulated by your own state – open up competition across the country. Eliminate tax advantages for employer-based healthcare so healthcare is personalized and portable, and subject to the same market forces of price and quality competition that the rest of the economy experiences, leading to lower prices and higher quality all around.

    July 1, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  16. Bill

    No come on it won't. The federal government is the most efficient money spending machine in the US economy. If Obama wants it he must have it and he knows the government can do it better than those companies that have to make a profit for shareholders.

    July 1, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  17. IndyVoter

    The reason people are so confused about all of this is because Republicans have been consistently lying and telling people that the world is going to end if HC reform goes through. They are protecting their insurance donors and their own assets. No one cared about the deficit or anything else until the Republican started beating that drum.

    July 1, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  18. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    This Statement should have been said first and not at the end of your article. 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.This is to CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser, 1,026 people don't speak for everyone. You should say out of 1,026 people ask 52% said my health care will go up, Don't say America is worried about their plan will go up go. Now go back to the same people and ask them, over the last eight years did your health plan or their medical insurance costs increase also did prescription medication.

    July 1, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  19. Kwesoe

    One major argument that is missing from the healthcare debate is the moral conscience of the country. Of course healthcare is costly and covering all Americans will be expensive. As a nation that prides itself as the most generous in the world, why can't that same moral purpose that drives our sense of charity be extended to members of our society? Why can't we argue that it is morally responsible to provide health insurance to all our citizens. We spend billions of dollars to care for the sick in other parts of the world. How about those on the margin of our society? I think people who put a price tag on human life should know that a healthy citizen is an asset to their country.

    July 1, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  20. America Shrugged

    I wonder how many of the folks polled are between the ages of 25 and 65, the general age group that purchases health insurance for themselves and their families? The Republicans and insurance group lobby is doing a great job with the propaganda since I've seen polls that most americans want a public option. This leads me to believe that the questions are designed to confuse the stupid in this country. Of course it boils down to the same old thing, Americans want the best of everything, they just don't want to pay for it. Why folks think it's better to have an insurance company and share holders come between them and their Dr is better than the Gov managing the program (no profit motive) is beyond me. I guess if you are between the ages of 25-65 and have no insurance and have a life threatening disease, hold a bake sale.

    July 1, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  21. Chuck Reutter

    Our people have been conditioned to expect goverment programs to have no cost to them and this needs to change. We pay medical premiums at the present time and those on Medicare who elect an HMO have the cost paid by the government in addition to their part B monthly premium cost. But, many forget who is paying after awhile.

    Can you give us a list of the salaries paid to the insurance people to administer our health care?

    The high cost of health insurance premiums can be replaced by a health tax and the tax will be lower than the premiums paid by Americans and their employers. Americans can choose whatever doctor s/he wants and all the government will do is pay the bill. This is known as the Single Payer health care system.

    July 1, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
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