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. TCM

    It's not that we don't need some enhancement to our healthcare system costs...we do. Our quality of care is the best in the world...only a spoiled liberal would say otherwise....however, it's the incompetent Obama and his band of thugs in his administration that has no business telling us what we can and cannot have for healthcare...

    July 1, 2009 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  2. ron

    This health care overhaul is pretty frightening. I don't follow the logic on some of the expectations for lowered insurance premiums. For example, Obama has said that by spending millions on developing electronic health records it will reduce costs by Drs and Insurance companies and they "should" pass that savings on to us. I don't think so. Every Dr, Hospital and pharmacy in the US already maintains electronic billing for insurance. THere can't be any savings there. Even if there were doubt it would be passed on to us. The reason for electronic medical history and treatment records would be to have the Federal Government centralize all records and control/monitor treatment. Thats scary. And I hate being lied to that this is about saving money when its really about Fed takeover of our healthcare.

    July 1, 2009 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  3. Robin

    Of course it will increase costs. Since when did we have to count on the government to take care of us? I was raised you take care of yourself and your family. Do not expect anyone to do it for you. Which means you get a job (or two, as my father did in the 70's when Carter was wrecking the economy) and give up luxuries such as cell phones.

    Now, the mentally ill, disabled vets, elderly, and children with irresponsible parents are another story. They either have served, cannot serve, or are not old enough to serve.

    July 1, 2009 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  4. Susan

    It WILL cost us more, but it has to be done. I think Obama's plans would be more cost efficient, but politicians are pretty beholden to insurance companies, and making anything happen that breaks that money trail is going to be very difficult. THAT would be change...if these people would forget they are running for office and actually do something for the good of the people.

    July 1, 2009 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  5. JD

    It is just like taxes. When you have 20% of the people paying 80% of the taxes you have a problem. Why not go back to charity hospitals? You would get the care needed but not tying up emergency room services with no emergency situations.

    July 1, 2009 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  6. Stephanie

    Anything the government gets involved in will increase in cost. The two biggest areas of government involvement in the past decade are healthcare and higher eductaion, and look at what the cost of both are doing. The government pushes up demand, and cost increases follow.

    July 1, 2009 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  7. Tom from Roch., NY

    I believe it could not get worse with the president's plan. How could forcing insurers to cover pre-existing conditions be bad for us? How could competition be bad for us? How could promoting efficiency and effectiveness be bad for us? The plan may be bad for those who gouge the system to fill their pockets. But, the system isn't there for them, it's there for us!

    I do believe the outrageous malpractice awards and rampant fraud needs to be limited. Abuse of any system by anyone is bad for everyone.

    If Republicans want to debate this, fine. Where are the details? We need details, not summaries, rhetoric and fear! DON'T automatically say single payer is a deal killer. Many people want that option and many other options Republicans oppose. Start listening to your constituents, not your lobbyists! You know, us.

    July 1, 2009 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  8. Al Smith

    This Healthcare plan is no good. A public option means its open to everyone, and businesses are going to chose the public option, which will be bad and it will tell you who you can see and when. You will go on wait lists much like the socialized systems in Europe. People come to america for the healthcare because we HAVE A GOOD SYSTEM!! Everyone gets treatment no matter what!

    Maybe instead of having Obama push this healthcare we should be a little more concerned with the milking of the Social Security and Welfare programs???

    Previously someone on here told me that the logic of "Pay for your own insurance" was like a modern day "let them eat cake"....for their information, it is nothing like that. Please learn your history!

    July 1, 2009 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  9. Sharon Kitchen

    When you have to choose food over meds.........
    not a hard choice......Obama's plan will work.

    July 1, 2009 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  10. DL

    It's going to be a difficult process, and with any changes this large there will be trial and error, but we can no longer take the GOP approach of 'do nothing'. Due to medicare D which the republicans pushed thru, 100% of the governments income will be spent on prescription drugs within the next decade. That means no military funding, no police, no education......that's the largest 'no bid' socialist program in history. So do not let the GOP and their pouts of 'socialism' mislead you. It's only socialism when the same 'fat hogs' who have drained this country for years can't anymore.

    Ignore the GOP. Fix our health care, provide clean energy and break out dependence on the middle east. It's time to rebuild America instead of the GOP approach of giving our tax dollars to rebuild some country that will still despise us.

    July 1, 2009 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  11. JB

    You cannot give people free health care without raising taxes drasticaly, or, going into debt. Keep in mind many of the people who would qualify for this healthcare, DO NOT PAY TAXES. So, someone has to pay for it (attn: taxpayers. Entitlements don't just appear. SOMEONE HAS TO PAY. And the way Obama has been spending, he is going to bankrupt this country.

    On this point. In an election system, if you give 51% of the public free stuff, you will never lose. Do you think Obama may have thought about this? He is going to give free stuff to the poor, and legalize 20 million illegals, with voting rights, and poof, Obama cannot be beat. He is not dumb.

    July 1, 2009 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  12. Sherry in NJ

    Why would people support it if it is going to cost more? I can't afford to pay more for my insurance, so I don't support this plan.

    July 1, 2009 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  13. GI Joe

    Doing absolutely nothing for the past 8 years DID NOT WORK.

    We need to get this started - if it itsn't perfect at first, at least there will be something to make adjustments to.

    It's time, and I'm personally sick of the party of NO obstructing everything for this country, while pouring our taxes into "rebuilding" the country W decided to destroy (Iraq - and inadvertently US).

    July 1, 2009 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  14. lila

    Why does not CNN do an in depth look into the outline of Obama's health care plan. Will it raise prices? Because from what I can tell Obama's plan will lower what I pay by $2000 for my family. When and if the raise taxes is when the real money saving starts to happen. The more money they can put in the bigger the savings for all.

    July 1, 2009 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  15. kishen c.rao

    Is it less now? I don't think so. Aren't AMA, Insurance groups, doctors, and hospitals robbing? Find the way out to cut costs. Only way is to put more PAs, NPs, in practice in general medicine in rural area and produce more generic tests. Stop these doctors writing all bogus tests whether needed or not. I know some of the oriental doctors doing "swan-gantz" for no reason for grabbing 320/ dollars from insurance groups....these are from especially from India...ok...we need to cut costs...drive these bad doctors out of profession...use American Physician Assistants instead. They are the best doctors. Believe me...God only should bless the nation, the USA from this medical greed. AMA, you don't be nasty....and greedy....

    July 1, 2009 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  16. annie s

    Well sure they think costs will go up. The Republican scare tactics have always worked well on people too lazy to study the facts for themselves.

    July 1, 2009 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  17. Mike

    Do not worry about obamas health care driving up prices and dictating what coverage you can get based on your age. Do not worry that you will lose your private coverage because yes it will drive up prices and yes the government will determine what medical help you will get and yes you will lose your private coverage. How is change working out for you so far?

    July 1, 2009 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  18. Lolbama

    I was under the apparently false impression that the US is a constitutional republic with a capatlistic-based economy. How can this be if the gov't is taking everything over??

    One-term Obama imo

    Hopefully someone with some leet leadership skills can do what is right for the country and not for PACs or a specific political base.

    I'll let everyone know what the weather is like in Lala land some time soon...

    July 1, 2009 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  19. Sarah

    Costs are going to increase anyway. A study says costs will go up 9% next year. If you get it from your employer do you honestly think they will eat that cost for you? In my family we went from 3 choices of insurance companies with his employer paying it, down to 1 choice with his employer paying it and presently we are at 1 choice and paying half of it. The next step will be us paying for it all...including that 9% increase. The insurance companies and their outrageous costs and denying of care even though premiums are paid need to be STOPPED! The public option will force the private insurance companies to keep their costs comparable!! Compare it to a gas station in the middle of nowhere that can charge 10 cents more a gallon then the gas stations in town with competitor right near them (who must keep prices low to compete) because there is no other gas station around to keep their prices in check.

    July 1, 2009 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  20. Champly

    The president is going to "allow" me to see my same doctor ? What business is it of Obama or CNN which doctor I see and how much I pay ? I struggled to pay my mortgage and other bills. But that does not translate in any way into a reason for turning my health care decisions over to Obama, CNN and the Democrat Party.

    CNN has helped Obama carefully craft his message, tawdry as it is, but god help us all if this is forced down the throats of Americans. Obama will have to use federal troops to crush the resistence in the streets. The Tea Parties that CNN laughed at will be nothing compared to the coming roar coming from Americans as their freedoms are being smothered by an alliance between the Democrat Party and elitist media.

    July 1, 2009 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  21. D. Tree

    I am confident that having a public option will bring my healthcare costs DOWN.

    Anyone who would rather continue letting the 3 big insurers set prices must be crazy or stupid.

    July 1, 2009 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  22. Todd in Atlanta, GA

    Public healthcare, like so many other Obama proposals, would be a disaster for our country. Besides the fact we can't afford what is being proposed (the Obama administration does not seem to care about how much anything costs as evidenced by everything he has done or proposed since he was inaugurated), the proposal does not solve the main problem which is the out of control rising costs of healthcare. In fact, like this poll says, most believe his plan will increase healthcare costs or even worse, begin government rationing of heath care which I am sure the majority of Americans would oppose strongly. If people will only take the time to look at both sides of this issue as opposed to blindly following the administration and the very biased media, I am quite certain this so-called solution will fail to pass congress. As with most of what Obama is doing, once people get past the rhetoric and messenger, the substance does not work for anyone with the exception of the extreme left in our country which is a very small part of America!

    July 1, 2009 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  23. Fair is Fair

    Reformed? YES. Starting with TORT reform. When doctors stop having to work a full 5 months out of the year to pay for malpractice insurance, costs will decrease.

    Public option? We have that in MA. Go look up 'commonwealth care', read what it covers, what it doesnt (especially the maximum it will pay in a calendar year), and how much it costs the insured. Then see if you still think you want a "public option".

    One more thing. If healthcare reform doesn't address the massive shortage of physicians in the primary care, internal medicine, and geriatrics fields of practice, we're in deep doo-doo.

    July 1, 2009 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  24. Jason

    "Nearly half of those questioned have more trust in the President rather than Republicans in Congress to handle health care form"

    What happened to his lofty poll numbers!

    July 1, 2009 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  25. nota dem

    YA THINK,

    Everything Obama and his Democrates have passed has raised your taxes and everything Obama even thinks makes you more DEPENDENT ON GOVERNMENT and raises taxes.

    Democrates only have one thing in mind, BEING DICTATORS and making you more dependent on BIG GOVERNMENT.

    Obama wants your money thats why he wants to SPREAD YOUR WEALTH with te non working .

    YOUR HEALTH COST WILL DOUBLE IF OBAMA GETS HIS WAY.

    July 1, 2009 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
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