July 1st, 2009
05:00 AM ET
9 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. Marianne Hinckley

    What Obama's Obamacare will do is put medical insurance companies out of business and make Americans dependent upon some idiot in the government deciding if he wants a patient to be treated or not, so republicans watch out: you won't get any medical attention under Obamacare, you'll just die or change your political registration to get care. Isn't this just so sick, though? Please don't think this isn't part of Obamacare; it's all political, not compassionate.

    July 1, 2009 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  2. Kevin in Ohio

    This has gone way beyond worry.... we KNOW it will increase costs. Ponzi scheme. America is the ultimate loser.

    July 1, 2009 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I can see why people are worried because there are no details yet, and the Republicans are trying to frighten people over something that hasn't been finished. With this small a sample size (1,026), how representative is this polling anyhow? I would have preferred something close to 10,000 at least; has a greater chance to have various small groups represented.

    July 1, 2009 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  4. Wincel

    Let's do the math. Increase the demand for physicians by providing free healthcare for another 30,000,000 but decrease the number of physicians by limiting fees they can charge. Hmmm....Houston I think we have a problem.

    July 1, 2009 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  5. T

    We dont care about the cost.....we already in to deep. But millions
    of Americans wants this. Who you Poll CNN, you did not poll me ?
    If some Americans are worry about the cost, they did not worry when
    BUSH was spending like crazy and did not care about the American

    July 1, 2009 08:31 am at 8:31 am |

    This health care plan he is pushing will do nothing except put more burden on the working taxpayers to provide services for those who do not. Health care is not a right. I have always paid for my own health care. Socialized care does not work, as proven by the countries that have tried it. Pelosi, Kennedy,Reid and obama have no clue as to what they are doing. I have not seen a politician yet who knows how to manage anything correctly and efficiently. The cap and trade BS will be another farce that will only hit the working popoulation in their wallet even harder because the government will pay the free loaders electrical bill through assistance programs as usual. There is an argument between scientist as to whether global warming even exists.And as far as I know Al Gore is no scientist,

    July 1, 2009 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  7. Tom Paine

    Is this the same CNN poll that said 51% of Americans support this socialist takeover of healthcare? Of course it's going to raise costs...and lower the quality of care. Typical Obama mess.

    July 1, 2009 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  8. Broke in CA

    Despite Obama promising to reduce costs, they will go up. His idea to reduce costs is to limit tests. Not a smart thought considering tests are done to eliminate or diagnose disease. Medicare is lousy health care and is broke, yet that's what he wants to give the rest of us. He also wants to tax health benefits provided by employers, another mistake. Tax the people who have coverage to pay for those who don't!! Employers would be more likely to eliminate health care if employees could get a cheaper public option. Shouldn't they be looking for ways to encourage employers to provide coverage and reduce the need for public coverage? Democrats brain only works one way – Tax increases on the middle class and above.

    July 1, 2009 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  9. Terry

    The purpose of America's health care system is not to make pharmaceutical companies, hospital companies, and physicians wealthy. The purpose of America's health care system is to keep America's population healthy. Here's one suggestion:

    Pay pharmaceutical researchers to develop new drugs. Research and testing is costly. Then, after the drug is ready for market, give the formula to the public domain, so any manufacturer can make and sell it. The cost of making a pill is cheap. Manufacturers would compete to sell at the lowest price.

    July 1, 2009 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  10. New Yorker

    Obama says he wants to bring down health care costs but his plan would only bring health care down. His plan is to take from hard working Americans and give to those who are milking the system. That's why he chose Sotomayor for his SC pick. She is of the same mindset. It doesn't matter what is fair; what matters is that he gives to his voter base whatever he can to keep their support. That way he can continue to live off the taxpayer $$'s (the sweat of the workers) just like his base support does.

    July 1, 2009 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  11. lynn in NM

    There's no way his plan will increase prices. After all, he knows what he's doing. Not only will the prices go up, but your taxes will also. Do you remember the days before JFK when taxes were 75% of your income? I do. Start paying attention!

    July 1, 2009 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  12. SAI

    It is really high time that my fellow citizens come out of the hynotic trance in which private insurers have had them for decades – wake up and look at the outcomes. All other advanced countries spend around one-half (7% of GDP, versus nearly 14% of GDP for the US) of our national spend on healthcare, and yet have citizens living longer and healthier lives.

    Unless we have an outcomes-focused healthcare system that is NOT driven by profit-maximization motives, we will cotinue to have spends which are spiralling out of control, and keep denying even basic healthcare to larger and larger segments of our population. Right now it is over 15% of our population – how large should this become, before we say enough's enough? How can we be a strong nation – after all, our strength will be determined by our weakest links.

    Fortunately, we now have a president who is willing to address this problem squarely. Let us not fail him and fail ourselves by continuing to be in our hynotic trance.

    Wake up and think, America. God belss us all.

    July 1, 2009 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  13. mw

    Maybe politicians should start paying for their health care.

    July 1, 2009 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  14. Jason

    If you believe in the Health Care fantasy Obama is pushing, just ask yourself if you would rather pay for your own health insurance, or yours and half of someone elses.

    There are only two options to Obamas 'plan' .

    1. Health Care costs skyrocket.

    2. Health Care quality is diminished vastly.

    Pick one.


    July 1, 2009 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  15. munchmom

    Of course it will raise costs, not only of the health care services we receive, but the cost of having the benefit paid by employers, and individual taxes. The government (namely Obama), wants to tax our health care benefits, which have been pre-tax deductions for years! We can't let him do this to us-I had to increase my income tax deductions this year just to keep up with what I am already required to pay. And because of his wonderful stimulus payments, I am now in a higher tax bracket and actually end up in the hole when it is all said and done–I get $30 less per pay period with all these factors. How will this help Main Street? It won't, but we know the Dems–tax and spend, tax and spend. UGH!

    July 1, 2009 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  16. SLM

    No kidding!! But Obama promised us that he would reduce costs, provide free healthcare for everyone, not tax employer provided health benefits, not raise taxes on anyone making under 250,000 per year, create millions of jobs, line by line stop the pork spending. Yet all he has managed to do is throw billions of our dollars away and he continues to want to throw billions more away. Wake up America, this guy is bankrupting us and he's only been in office for 5 months!!

    July 1, 2009 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  17. sniffthese

    didn't Obammy say taxes will NOT increase for those that make $250K or less??

    That will go down as one of biggest lies this empty suit has ever said.

    July 1, 2009 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  18. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    We should be afraid of the rising costs of the Obama plans, this man taxes everything and gives it to George Soros, ACORN and the union and all of his supporters, the majority of whom do not work for a living.

    July 1, 2009 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  19. Former Republican firmly supporting Obama

    The Obama Administration and Democrats supporting his health care reform plan need to do a much better job selling this plan to the American People. In general, Americans support health care reform and most Americans want a public health care option. However, the lack of "fire in the belly" of Obama and the Dems is very discouraging. They are not doing a good job at showing the necessary passion needed to progress this issue not only in Washington, but in everyday America.

    July 1, 2009 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  20. George

    How can people know what that approve yet, we haven't had a clear plan presented at this time. Many "options" are still on the table, no one plan presented.

    July 1, 2009 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  21. IS IT 2012 YET ??

    Worse than that – it will ration health care, and deny or delay needed help to those who have always paid into the system. All so the Democrats can get more votes.

    July 1, 2009 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  22. Tina

    I personally will be opposed to any government "public" healthcare option that ends up costing people with private insurance now more money. If the Obama administration can't figure out a way to fund their public health care option without compromising the insurance many of us have today, then the public hare care option will be a complete failure.

    July 1, 2009 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  23. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I don't know what these people are thinking. A public option is intended on driving the cost down. I don't see how premiums can go up. A government run option will force competition amongst commercial insurances. Eventually, if those insurance companies want to stay in business, they will have to cut cost. Simple as that.

    July 1, 2009 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  24. Peter

    Only 51% back his health care plan? That's pretty low, considering the president is so popular and many people hate Bush and Republicans so much!

    July 1, 2009 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
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