November 6th, 2009
05:00 AM ET
5 years ago

CNN Poll: Public wants Congress to keep working on health care

Nearly six in ten Americans want Congress to continue working on health care reform bills that have been passed through various committees, according to a new CNN poll.
Nearly six in ten Americans want Congress to continue working on health care reform bills that have been passed through various committees, according to a new CNN poll.

Washington (CNN) - Nearly six in ten Americans want Congress to continue working on health care reform bills that have been passed through various committees, according to a new national poll.

Full results (pdf)

Fifty-nine percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey say lawmakers should continue working on the legislation, a rise of 6 points since August. But only a quarter say those bills should be passed pretty much as is, with a third suggesting that Congress should make major changes. The poll also indicates that one in four say lawmakers should start from scratch and 15 percent want Congress to stop all work on health care reform.

The survey's release Friday morning comes one day before the full House of Representatives is expected to hold a floor vote on the Democrats health care reform bill.

"Most of the Democrats interviewed support some form of heath care reform, but the divisions within congressional Democrats are reflected in the party nationwide," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Forty percent of the Democratic rank and file want Congress to approve the proposals that have passed through committee with only minor changes. But an equal number of Democrats nationwide want Congress to make major changes to those proposals before approving them."

According to the poll, 45 percent support President Barack Obama's proposals to reform health care, with 53 percent opposed to his plans. This is the first time since the president's early September prime time address a joint session of Congress on health care that a majority of people questioned in a CNN survey oppose Obama's proposals.

"Six in ten independents say they oppose Obama's health care proposals," says Holland. "That's a nine point increase since October."

The House bill that faces a probable Saturday vote contains a version of the public option, an insurance option administered by the federal government that would compete with plans offered by private insurance companies. According to the poll, 55 percent support the public option, with 44 percent opposed.

Rising health care costs could be a factor in support for Congress to take action.

"The appetite for some version of health care reform may be explained by the fact that 55 percent of Americans with health insurance say that their insurance company has raised rates, deductibles or co-payments within the past year," says Holland.
No House Republicans are expected to vote Saturday for the Democrats health care bill.

"With any health care bill likely to face near-unanimous opposition from the GOP, only one in three Americans say that the Republicans in Congress are doing enough to cooperate with Barack Obama. Is Obama doing enough to reach out to Republicans? Half say yes; half say no," adds Holland.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted October 30-November 1, with 1,018 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: CNN poll • Congress • Health care • Popular Posts
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. hal

    Only a quarter states that they want the bill to stay the way it is-that is a small amount-the article is deceiving. Who do they survey- is it a group that consists of Democrats? I don't think they survey Independents and Republicans. This is a sham!

    November 6, 2009 05:08 am at 5:08 am |
  2. Scott, Tucson

    This is nothing more than just another typical tax and spend program from the democrats disguised as health care to fool the people and this bill is going to create 111 new bureaucracies to boot, just what we don't need right now more big government agencies.

    November 6, 2009 05:21 am at 5:21 am |
  3. terry,va

    More work needed is an understatement. The whole thing should be thrown out and start over.

    November 6, 2009 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  4. kivett williams

    So what you are saying is 75% of Americans want this bill stopped!!

    November 6, 2009 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  5. charlie in Maine

    Okay I get why Republican Lawmakers who would like to be in the majority again are against Healthcare reform( see Social Security). I get why the insurance companies don't want competition form the government( how much could Fed Excharge if it wasn't for the Post Office?) but could some one out there tell me why anyone else would be against this?

    November 6, 2009 06:01 am at 6:01 am |
  6. Paul fom Kissimmee

    Does anybody think that this administration really cares what we think. This is the worst presidency of my lifetime. Jimmy Carter will be out done for sure.

    November 6, 2009 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  7. D. Tree

    We have a lot more work to do people, and health care is just the start.

    If you want to solve all the problems our country is facing, we need to pass this and move on to the next thing.

    The GOP is only trying to slow things down so no actual change happens, its a disgrace to America!

    November 6, 2009 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  8. A.B.

    The majority of Americans invested President Obama and the Democrats with the mandate to reform the American healthcare insurance system when the people elected them into office. That mandate must and will be fulfilled regardless of the insane foolishness and noise of the teabaggers and insurance companies.

    November 6, 2009 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  9. joe blow

    so a majority of americans think congress should continue to legislate. what is surprising about americans wanting the congress to actually work? maybe the "revolutionary" bachman and the orange guy (who doesn't know the difference between the declaration of independence and the constitution) should spend less time in front of the cameras and more time reading the proposed legislation. if the ama and aarp back the house bill, are they unamerican? the guy cliff from cheers should have another beer.

    November 6, 2009 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  10. A guy

    I think the Republicans in congress should notice this poll then promptly shut up.

    November 6, 2009 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  11. Albo58

    Most Americans realise that the current House bill is NOT the reform that we need nor can afford. However, just like the Tarp and Stimulus bills, the House leadership is once again trying to throw good money at a bad bill. Doing something bad IS worse than doing nothing at all!

    November 6, 2009 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  12. machtim akannah

    The health care bill should be all inclusive, INCLUDING all of Congress. If they are required to be part of the bill, then maybe I will believe in the benefits. ALSO, while they arre making revisions, ALL of Congress should be part of the social security plan with the general public. I bet this improves the plan. Congress works for us, not the other way around. They should not be running the show for their own benefit.

    November 6, 2009 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  13. Obama fan...not!

    Boy.....How long did you have to search to find a poll you could spin as positive for healthcare legislation? Researchers getting overtime CNN?

    November 6, 2009 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  14. Right Leaning Independent

    I wonder if Pelosi, Reid and Obama are getting that message. We want health care reform but not the radical plan being offered!! We need to regulate insurance companies like we do Auto insurers. They can request rate hikes but it will be decided by a commissioner. We should allow selling of insurance over state lines to create competition. We should not allow insurers to drop people when they get sick or use too much money for treatment. We should make insurers take on any new customer regardless of a pre-existing condition. We should embrace tort reform. We should give a helping hand to those that can not afford insurance but we should not subsidize them forever! We should have a provision that all children have insurance if their parents are too poor to buy insurance. This is the type of changes Americans can embrace in a Bi-Partisan manner!!

    November 6, 2009 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  15. Fair is Fair

    But if they take more time, more people might find out what a piece of junk this legislation is. We can't have that now, can we?

    November 6, 2009 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  16. lila

    61% of people want a strong public option... both bills lack a "strong" public option. We will end up with some watered down option that the conservatives hail as the end of the world as we know it. It's all so absurd.

    November 6, 2009 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  17. Anonymous

    Call me a statistical freak if you want but I reviewed the pdf file that contains the results of this poll. Being a certified statistician, I find it alarming that CNN has not included the political party breakdown of these registered voters who were polled. Is there something to hide or just an innocent omission ? Numbers don't lie, but pollsters and statisticians can bend the truth. If there is an inherent slant built into the data, such as more registered democrats than republicans, the data set can "confound" the results of the analysis. I can make any data set say anything I want it to, it is all in how the data is selected.

    November 6, 2009 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  18. GI Joe

    If they spent more time working (for us) and less time in front of TV cameras bashing each other, maybe this country would be in better condition.

    Fire all of them and start over. Obstructionists need to go. WE NEED RESULTS.

    November 6, 2009 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  19. Aspen Professor

    I always get a kick out of polls and surveys. I suspect that 99.9% of those responding have NEVER seen the topic of the survey.

    Most of the angry voices must be regular viewers of the FOX Channel and followers of Hannity, O'Reilly, Coulter, Rush, and Cheney. Their brains have been stuffed to overflowing with the blantant lies, hypocrisy, and just plain nonsense of these right-wing extremists.

    November 6, 2009 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I wish I had CNN's uncanny ability to keep serving up the same meal, day in and day out, with just different garnishes, and try to pass it off as a completely different entree. You can't coach that!

    November 6, 2009 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  21. Gordon Shumway

    I don't believe the CNN poll. The economy is the biggest problem right now and the unnecessary total reorganization of our health program is just going to exacerbate it. Obama wants to ruin us, and, by Allah, he's going to give it his best shot.

    November 6, 2009 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  22. Justin in WV

    Bullcrap!!! Ram that mess through and I mean NOW. I need my free healthcare right away cause I ain't got no money and I sure as heck don't have a job.

    November 6, 2009 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  23. worriedmom

    CNN you sure know how to spin it. Did you take lessons from Pelosi. Sure 59% want them to continue to work on legislation but not what they have now! You guys are so in the tank, you are trying to be Obama's best friend instead of MSNBC. No wonder you are rating last place. How about making the American public your new best friend!!

    November 6, 2009 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  24. VB Lincoln Park NJ

    Any Congressperson who votes against health care reform is CLEARLY AGAINST ANYONE WHO NEEDS HEALTH CARE.

    Obviously, is also owned by the health insurance ripoff companies.

    November 6, 2009 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  25. Robin

    Everyone deserves to have healthcare. That does not mean they deserve it for free.

    We need reform, but let's make sure we do it right. We can't afford to get it wrong, it would bankrupt the country.

    November 6, 2009 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
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