August 5th, 2009
06:00 AM ET
4 years ago

CNN Poll: Americans split on Obama's health care proposals

A CNN Poll indicates that only 3 in 10 Americans think President Obama's health care plan will help their families.
A CNN Poll indicates that only 3 in 10 Americans think President Obama's health care plan will help their families.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Americans appear split over President Barack Obama's health care reform proposals, according to a new national poll.

Fifty percent of those questioned in CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday morning say they support the president's plans, with 45 percent opposed.

The results indicate a generational divide.

"Obama's plan is most popular among younger Americans and least popular among senior citizens," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "A majority of Americans over the age of 50 oppose Obama's plan; a majority of those under 50 support it."

The poll's release comes as lawmakers go back to their home districts and states for summer recess. The House of Representatives is already on break and the Senate heads home at the end of the week. Some lawmakers are holding town hall meetings or other public forums on health care reform over the next few weeks, where voters will get a chance to speak out about the various proposals for change. The poll indicates that seven in 10 Americans say they're very or somewhat likely to attend such events.

"Nearly half of those who oppose the Obama plan say they are more likely to attend town hall meetings to express their views on health care; only 37 percent of those who support Obama's plan are very likely to attend a public forum on that issue," adds Holland.

The poll indicates that only three in 10 of all Americans think the president's health care proposals will help their families. Another 44 percent feel they won't benefit but that other families will be helped by the president's plans, and one in five say no one will be helped.

"Less than a quarter of Americans with private health insurance think that Obama's proposals would help them personally. Most people on Medicare and Medicaid also don't think that the Obama plan will help them," says Holland.

The survey suggests that around seven out of 10 Americans think that major structural changes are necessary to reduce health care costs or provide insurance coverage to all Americans. At the same time, more than eight out of 10 people are satisfied with their own health care and nearly three out of four are happy with their own insurance.

In any health care system, tough decisions that affect individual patients - such as which people get certain treatments and which treatments are too expensive or ineffective - must be made. The poll suggests that Americans are split on who they prefer to make such choices, with 40 percent saying it should be the insurance companies and an equal amount feeling that the government should make the call.

The battle over health care is registering with people across the country. According to the survey, more than half of all Americans have strong feelings regarding the health care debate, with about a third saying they strongly oppose Obama's plans and 23 percent strongly in favor.

"On issues like this, intensity of opinion matters as much as numbers. Opponents of the president's health care reform seem to feel more intensely about it than Obama's supporters," says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Friday through Monday, with 1,136 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Click here for full results (.pdf)


Filed under: Health care • President Obama
soundoff (196 Responses)
  1. kim

    It is because of the lies that the repubs and the insurance industry has put out there. Seniors are easily persuaded and if you have a barage of commercials and media coverage containing lies and telling them that healthcare reform will take their benefits away or lead them to death sooner, they wont seek the truth, they will simply vote against anything that may change what they currently have.
    These are such lies, there will be a nice spot in H-E-double-hockey sticks for those spreading such lies and showing such disrespect to our seniors by starting panic in our country for the sake of personal gain.

    August 5, 2009 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  2. Mario Bratfisch from Berlin

    oh well... let's hope Obama get that whole health care reform passed through the congress quite soon and ain't end up like Bill, 15 years ago. But I'm confident, that the party of No, also known as Got 0 Plans, won't stop him from that. I hope in the next election(s), not the President will be punished, but the Party of No. What's their plan for that country? Do they have one? Oh... right, they don't need one, they've got Superwoman Sarah Failin...

    Good luck Mr. President, move on, you do a brilliant job and I hope all these stupid guys will learn soon, that you can't clean up the mess in a few days or months...

    Guys look. The USA/economy actually is like a burned down house. It took the former house owner George W. B. not long, to set the house on fire. But it takes a long time to put out the blaze and rebuild the house. You've got it? Fine, then don't worry and have some comfort in the rebuilder Barack Obama.

    August 5, 2009 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  3. CJ in FL

    CNN,
    Nice job immediately Permalink-ing that 'Obama acted stupidly' blog. We wouldn't want any comments on that.

    What a joke.

    August 5, 2009 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  4. Sandra Day

    Okay, when it is 50% in favor and 45% opposed, why say America is split? Clearly, a majority favor the plan. Earlier, when it was 48% in favor and 44% opposed, you were "claiming" that a majority does not favor the plan, simply because 48% was under 50 (I assume this was your logic, anyway). Now that it is back up to 50, you and every other news agency should be running headlines that THE MAJORITY APPROVES OF OBAMA'S PLAN!

    August 5, 2009 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  5. Terri Yonkers ny

    Wake up people...Obama himself is pushing the takeover of banks,
    the auto industry, spent money like a drunken sailor, now he is driving the takeover of our heath system. I am terrified of the government telling me what medical procedures I might have and going on a waiting list. The government even bankrupted the junk car plan how in the world can he manage the entire health system ?
    Six months Trillions more in debt...Obama cant take criticism he speaks out on protestors refers to them as a mob? He calls the
    police stupid..He rails against Fox network...Remember their warning
    Rev Wright...The Bomber...The Chicago Millionaire he purchased his home from. Our congressmen have not read the Health Bill..I'll bet
    Obama hasn't either. HE JUST WANTS TOTAL CONTROL. WHAT IS THAT TYPE OF PERSON CALLED.

    August 5, 2009 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  6. Deb

    I do believe alot more Americans would not be opposed if they knew all of the facts and details from reliable sources and not from the disruptive far right. The thought they are bussing in people just to disrupt educational town hall meetings is disgusting. Perhaps we Americans should pay more attention to who we elect to office and more importantly, their work once they get to Washington. Perhaps that will keep the politicians serving us the people and not their campaign funders.

    August 5, 2009 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  7. Doug Kelly

    In a recent FaceBook poll that does not allow double voting over 74% opposed the health care bill.
    I am strongly opposed to this socialist piece of you know what. Have any of the people supposting it actually taken a minute to scan through it?

    August 5, 2009 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  8. J

    Are they? Or are they just so confused by all the garbage, no substance coverage of the topic that they don't know what is going on and are completely influenced by the pundits on TV giving their agenda promoting opinion.

    August 5, 2009 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  9. Enlightened Voter

    We are not split, Health Care Reform is a dire necessity! What did the republicans do during the last 8 years regarding Health Care Reform – NOTHING! Now, they've got tons to say.

    August 5, 2009 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  10. FORMER republican, NEVER again!

    Republicans obstruct and attack anything to help this country. It's no wonder you've lost millions of voters like myself and will continue to lose more. You, the GOP could care nothing less for average Americans. Not all us former republicans are stupid or racists or that gullible.

    August 5, 2009 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  11. Legna

    BULL!!!!! If people new exactly what the plan would do to and for them then they would b against. HOW can u do a poll when you have no idea what they are tryn to put through??? Your headlines are missleading when u say Americans r split. Only 3 n 10 think it will help.. Is this the way u report the news too?

    August 5, 2009 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  12. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    Single payer is the only way to truly reduce cost. For profit insurance companies pay 78 cents on the dollar to health care. Non-profit insurance pays 90 cents and Medicare pays 97 cents. The proposed plan will help get rid of the moral issue with health care. Maybe we will address cost later.

    August 5, 2009 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  13. nick

    With regard to the "intenity" of Obama's detractors recall that they are, were and always will be raceist. The present Republican party is made up of old "Dixiecrats" who were anti-civil rights, anti-change, anti-everthing as a closet Klansman should be. So little has canged the intensity of the hate is as great now as when their grand-fathers and great-grand-fathers lynched black pleople in the last century. A little religious tent meeting stuff, a little corn whiskey, and an agiator lile Limbaugh or Palin to get the pot boiling and they are once more ready to look for the nearest tree.

    August 5, 2009 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  14. Amber

    It goes to show you the selfish indignation of the younger voters. What they fail to understand is that they will be footing the bill for the rest of their lowly lives. They should become more educated on this plan and realize the repercussions as they pertain to their own personal lives. Unfortunately, the lack of education and ability to think things through really is obvious with this group. The whole plan is unsustainable and will crush America. Of course, that is the design of this Obama administration. They sow what they will reap.

    August 5, 2009 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  15. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    Where are the right wing evangelicals on this topic? If they were following the teachings from the Bible they should be appalled with our current rationing of health care by wealth and would want all American's covered. Strange though ... I haven't heard anything from them...

    August 5, 2009 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  16. Rhonda

    Could somebody explain what the president's plan is? How can anybody say whether they support it or not when 0bama has been so vague about what will be in it? Other than he's claiming it will cover more Americans for less money what does anybody know?

    August 5, 2009 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  17. NAVY JACK

    the priority isn't about quality health care for Americans;
    this is about the federal government's acquisition of 1/6 of the nations economy
    and then the federal distinction of citizen classes... the control of access and amount of health care... patient e-records on all federal databases... federal access to patient's financial accounts for the purpose of DEBIT... federally mandated insurance for ALL...escalating health care premiums and co-pays... SKYROCKETING TAXES TO OFFSET THE LOSS OF CORPORATE TAXES FROM PRIVATE INSURANCE COMPANIES

    READ THE BILL and remember, CONGRESS and UNION MEMBERS will NOT be held to the same standards as remaining public

    August 5, 2009 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  18. kas

    Anyone who has any knowledge of the issue and is actually informed on this will oppose it. The problem is that most people, particularly younger people, are essentially clueless. They are more interested in, and know more about, the cesspool of pop culture than any real issues.
    Those of is who practice medicine and those of us who actually pay the bills in this country are apoplectic over this nonsense.
    The media gives passes to Obama, their darling. He is either stupid or a liar. I think probably both.
    The government has made a shambles of everything it touches from Social security to Medicare to cash for clunkers.
    There WILL be hell to pay for these politicians who are running this country into the proverbial ground.

    August 5, 2009 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  19. Johnny DC

    This program isn't about helping "most Americans". This program is about forcing most Americans to sacrifice part of the good of their own health plans, and forcing ALL Americans (including the middle class) to pay for it, in order to benefit the VERY FEW.

    It's called income redistribution. It has no place in this world.

    August 5, 2009 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  20. DiBiase/Bad Newz, VA

    As long as something with a public option is passed this year.

    August 5, 2009 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  21. Obama only creates TAXES

    NEW TAXES from the Democrates and Republicans.

    Obama is doing this so the older people loose their retirements to support those younger elitiest that wont work.

    Obama's phylosophy is to share the wealth all the older people have worked for.

    Then Obama will give them counciling to give up their life because they are old and the government doesnt want to support them.

    Obama Socialistic Republic of NON-AMERICA.

    August 5, 2009 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  22. MEL IN florida

    We need to bring change to our Health system. Lower premiuns, to cover pre-existing conditions, affordable coverage for small bussiness and individual programs. Lets not wait no more. People talk about how this programs are going to be restricted. Well Insurance companies are restricted now. You cannot go to the doctor's that you want if they are not contracted with the insurance or if the doctor does not accept the insurance plans, and the same with hospitals, if the doctor that you want does not have privileges at the hospital that you want, guess what you wont be seen at the hospital at least not by that particular doctor. and lets not talk about how expensive is right now to have coverage. We need change!!!!!!!

    August 5, 2009 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  23. Sam Sixpack

    As long as big insurance companies remain in the deal, they will take "profits" that should have gone to healthcare.

    All this "debate" about the "public option" is a big lie - and you are the butt of the joke. As long as even one "for profit" insurance company remains in the deal, you get robbed.

    You can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but all you need to do is fool enough of the people enough of the time.

    August 5, 2009 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  24. democrat no mas

    Health-care workers are opposed to Obama's approach. We see the problems, but the current "fixes" are an extension of the problem. For crying out loud, don't let the government run health-care further into the ground.

    August 5, 2009 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  25. Gerald

    What is missig in the story is how many of those polled have read the thousand page bill??

    August 5, 2009 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
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