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. CS from VA

    Given the paucity of details regarding the health care reform proposals being made available, I wonder how anyone could base judgment on whether costs would increase or decrease. How about some details beyond the headlines? The quality of CNN's journalism is increasingly substandard, and makes a strong case for the preservation of newspapers.

    July 1, 2009 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  2. Fred

    Like they always say...if you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free!

    July 1, 2009 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  3. Jeff, Huntington Beach, CA

    It is interesting that nobody ever talked about George W Bush doubling the national debt, raising it more than all other Presidents combined, and for no good reason to the American people, as witnessed by the fiscal mess we are now in. How many of you know people who have been or currently are in the process of being ruined by health care costs? My health insurance has skyrocketed in recent years and as Obama has said, it is going to be our next fiscal nightmare if we do nothing about it.

    Something needs to be done or the sick, infirm, or other "undesirables" among us will need to be done away with on a mass scale. Remember Nazi Germany? Heaven help you if you become a "drag on the state." It is sad how some can say "God Bless America" while willing to watch others go down the toilet as they count their "blessings."

    July 1, 2009 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  4. stevie

    what.........................no way

    this is what you voted for america (not me)

    but now you have to live with it

    next time maybe you will ignore the hype..........and vote what is best for most everyone not just 15% of the population

    although we did not have much of a choice in the last election

    July 1, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  5. Brian

    Even if there literally were an Obama-Palin footrace, I'm still not sure Palin would win. But who am I to argue with her coaches from 30 years ago?

    July 1, 2009 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  6. Republicans are the American Taliban

    Gosh CNN...I bet if you distort the facts enough, and create enough polls, you can get that worry/fear factor right up to where the Republicans want it. Way to create...and pass that ammunition to the Taliban CNN....

    July 1, 2009 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  7. Jerry American

    Thta is unless you are a union member , they are excluded from paying taxes on their health care benefits under current proposal. Is this discrimination or what , impeach BHO before its to late.

    July 1, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  8. Larry

    We live in a nation of followers and people who like to jump the gun and shoot from the hip without having the facts.

    "Americans worry Obama health care plan will increase costs".

    Has anyone even seen a draft of a new health care plan? Or is it all just rumor?

    The plan by this time must be several thousand pages. Has anyone even read it?

    July 1, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  9. phoenix86

    Americans should be, their health care costs are about to go up substantially. They are about to lose their current coverage. And Obama indicated in his town hall that procedures will be influenced by government agencies (read the transcript Obamabots).

    Obama is turning the US healtcare into the Cuban system – and that system is a total failure.

    July 1, 2009 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  10. haren

    I fill sorry for those who is against Obama's health care plan.
    They deserve Bush's 8 year presidency.

    July 1, 2009 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  11. WaitandSeeIndie

    Costs will go up, as with any government run program, service will get worse and to keep costs down, rationing of health care will become a necessity. If you are over 50, keep that in mind. But on the bright side, if you don't keep the older people alive, you don't have to pay them Social Security. Maybe that's his plan to keep health care costs down and to save Social Security. Barack is a genius!

    July 1, 2009 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  12. demwit

    Has CNN's Polling Director Keating Holland gotten his Czar appointment yet? He's obviously been working over time for Obama's progressive agenda ...

    July 1, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  13. Pete

    The number one question that I always ask is, "this is the richest country in the world. Why can't we provide health care for all our citizens?" The idea that someone can't go to the doctor because they cannot afford it is ridiculous and must be addressed. Many folks fall into the cracks because of no health insurance. Most aren't wealthy enough to buy private insurance. Many aren't so poor that they can get public assistance. Others receive no benefits from their employer. These are the ones that can benefit from health care reform. The middle class. It isn't the top 10%. It isn't the bottom 10%. It's the other 80%, the ones that pay all the bills to keep this country running. The AMA and insurance companies don't care about the struggles of the working man, and they are trying to keep the politicians in their pockets, working against us. Don't let them fool you. All they care about is the bottom line. It has nothing to do with providing quality health care for all. Health care must be available for every American!

    July 1, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  14. It's Not Free

    CNN, did you ask the supporters of the health care plan if they know the details of it. I suspect that 100% of the 51% do not know anything about it accept that, in their minds, it's "free." Which again, I suspect that 100% of the 51% are already receiving free health care in clinics, medicare, medicaid, emergency rooms and indigent care.

    July 1, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  15. Sam in Houston

    This is the first step to socialism and one man controlling everything. With this program you will go to the doctors they tell you to go and who becomes richer. This man is already making plans rewrite the laws so he can stay president for a life time. Wake up American is what you call CHANGE. We need to get this man out of office soon or he will have us in a place that America can’t get out of. I still don’t understand how a no body community organizer becomes president of the United States. Oh that’s right his smooth double tongue talking and media put him in power. I know that our fore father and the people that died for this country did not give their lives for this. Remember we all one country to come here the home of the free and brave. Wake up America please before it’s too late. Is this the Change you want?

    July 1, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  16. haren

    Did CNN take the poll of those 46 million who does not have health care?

    July 1, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  17. Lynn

    With all the misinformation out there and a media that spouts opinion rather than investigates and presents facts, everyone is confused.

    July 1, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  18. Ralph

    I am afraid my employer will abandon the more expensive health care plan I currently have, in favor of a cheaper, crappy, government run plan. I currently do not have to pay in to my plan, my employer pays all costs. I also worry that I will be taxed on my health care plan as if it were income. I heard that taxing health care was part of this legislation. Does anyone know if that is true? I support a family of five on $45,000 a year. I though President Obama promised he would not raise my taxes. Did he lie during the campaign, when he made that statement? I think a lot of middle and lower income people are going to be hurt by his plan. Just my opinion, and by the way, I am a registered Democrat.

    July 1, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  19. The black spider

    Oh yeah you design misleading polls to make people think against their own interest. That is what corporate America is Good at for centuries.
    The same people you poll never care the war in Irak will cost A Trillion dollar but we still spending to money to fix other people country we voluntarly destroyed.
    You all want to go to haven but you are affraid to die.

    July 1, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  20. jaye

    With all the talking heads on fux news blasting the health care program it's no wonder people are worried about rising cost.
    Just wait until these people lose their health insurance coverage and see how they feel then...but wait, all the talking heads are wealthy and don't have to worry about health cost.
    Anyway, people are generally stupid and believe whatever they hear on the news.

    July 1, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  21. D-Nice

    People think efforts to reduce cost are going to increase cost?

    Polls keep telling us that Americans distrust the GOP, yet they still believe all the hogwash that they spew.

    July 1, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  22. haren

    Why don't we take poll, for whether our representative deserve govt. health care plan, which they oppose for all Americans.

    July 1, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  23. Tliene

    What about the cost of lives and pain due to the reduction of services, rationing and the eventual death of innovation.

    July 1, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  24. Arron

    A public option would drive down cost because it would offer competition to the for-profit insurance industry and keep them honest. Republicans want to protect obscene profits for insurance companies and RAISE TAXES on middle class health benefits instead. If we do nothing, insurance premium will double in 5-10 years and bankrupt the country. The public option is a great idea and a no-brainer.

    July 1, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  25. Aaron, Maryland

    I wish CNN, or any american source, would do a poll regarding americans understanding of other 1st world nations health-care systems, and the cost they effectively have on their people and the level of care, and then ask them what their opinion on health care is.
    Heck, do a poll concerning what a great number of old 2nd world and third world nations do, etc. and then give opinion.
    I'm blown away at how a simple google of "universal health care" can take one far beyond the decades old talking points of both Dems. and Repubs.
    The WORLD EVOLVED WHILE WE WERE SPINNING OUR RHETORICAL WHEELS
    now we have a mess, and ask questions from 40 years ago?

    July 1, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
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