December 22nd, 2009
10:33 AM ET
10 months ago

Polls: Majority oppose heath care bill

New polls show Americans are opposed to the Senate Health Care bill.
New polls show Americans are opposed to the Senate Health Care bill.

Washington (CNN) - For the second straight day, a new national poll indicates that a solid majority of Americans oppose the health care bill that Democrats are pushing through the Senate.

According to a Quinnipiac University survey released Tuesday morning, 53 percent of the public disapproves of the proposed changes, with 36 percent supporting the bill.

That follows a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Monday that indicated 42 percent favor the Senate Democrats' legislation, with 56 percent opposed.

Both surveys were conducted last week through Sunday, as Senate Democrats were negotiating a final health care bill, but before a crucial party-line vote early Monday morning to end debate, a huge hurdle to eventual passage of the legislation that the Democrats successfully were able to jump.

According to the Quinnipiac poll, Americans by an 18-point margin disapprove of the job President Barack Obama's doing on health care.

"As President Barack Obama's numbers on health care have declined so has his margin over Republicans on whom American voters trust most on the issue," says Peter Brown, Assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "In July he enjoyed a 20-point edge on the trust question, and that margin has been narrowing, to 45 – 40 percent today."

The Quinnipiac survey also indicates that while a majority of Americans oppose the health care plan, they back two options that were cut from the Senate bill. According to the poll, 56 percent support the option of getting coverage through a government health insurance plan, with 38 percent opposing the public option. And nearly two-thirds like the proposal to allow people as young as 55 to buy into the government run Medicare program, with three in ten opposed.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted December 15-20, with 1,616 registered voters from across the country questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. John in Dayton

    None of this tells me why anyone is opposing the health care legislation. What reasons were they giving? Or were they asked for that? It makes no sense that health care was among the biggest issues in the election, yet is somehow less important now. I understand the economy tanked, but health care reform is inextricably linked to making the economy better.
    Americans are amazingly crazy people sometimes, I think.

    December 22, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. RAG

    Well that's why we are a republic and not a democracy. The majority often does not work in its own best interests and can be swayed by demagogs, liars, their own prejudices and their ignorance.

    A majority would have let the Confederacy secede and remain slave, let Germany win WWI, and gone communist in the 1930’s. Once in, we would have stayed in Vietnam for years – maybe decades – more. Studies show that a majority will choose to stay on a sinking ship until it’s too late. A majority will vote to eat its seed corn in a famine. A majority will believe an easy lie over a hard truth every time.

    An ill-informed majority inflamed by manipulative demagogs are capable of wanton self-destruction. That is what this poll is showing, nothing more.

    December 22, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    The democrats will reap what they sew come elections day.

    December 22, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. Really

    yeah, but what do we know. Dont worry it will take time for us all to realize that the government knows what is really best for us. Thank you Democrats for your hard work. I wait for your guidance for all my future decisions.

    December 22, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. Jane/Seattle

    This is an Outrage why?
    1. No Public Option
    2. Little regulation of these Price-gougers!
    3. Mandatory buy-In or Fines! Now there is some Great Fascism!
    4. No buy-in to Medicare
    5. NOTHING FOR THE PEOPLE AND EVERYTHING FOR THE
    CROOKED CAPITALISTS!

    And by extension: The Political hacks who get paid so handsomely for the sellout of America-POLITICIANS!
    Thanks for Nothing!

    December 22, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. JD

    Democrats should honor the will of the majority now, or they will suffer the wrath of the majority in November, 2010 and November, 2012.

    It's time this socialist nonsense was swept off the table, lest the Democrats be swept clean out of the halls of power.

    Americans want jobs, not socialist government takeovers and burgeoning debt that their children's children will have to pay in the decades to come. Get the picture?

    December 22, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. Scott O'Canada

    I'm sure it is cold comfort for the Democrats to learn that the majority who oppose this oft-revised Health Care bill do so because they think it does not go far enough. The Democratic leadership should simply offer up a public plebiscite on the issue in 2010 during the mid-term elections and once and for all clear up what has become a quagmire of a bill. There is way too much spin/counter-spin going on and I truly beleive when pen is put to ballot, true reform will be acheived.

    December 22, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  8. Tom in VA

    This is the exact same polling group that just 3 months ago showed that the large majority of Americans SUPPORT healthcare reform!

    And recall that inthe election EVERYONE was creaming for it.Infact the REPUBICANTS ran on a platformfor HEATHCARE REFORM.

    So...the poll is meaningless. It really is. Take it again in3 month and it will support.3 months later(after Glenn Beck cries on TV again) and it will be against again.

    December 22, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. Joe Unger, San Francisco

    So this seems to show that people are resistant to change, especially when they're being told health care reform will affect them negatively. At that point, people will say I got mine, or, get this, it can't get any worse so I want things to stay the same.
    Then Obama and the Dems have to prove distrust of politicians is warranted. What the public wants in the bill is not going to be there. Yet Obama and his cronies will slap themselves on the back and gloat about what they will have accomplished. More money to contributors and more earmarks for themselves. Barack Obama, why are you foresaking those who really believed in you?

    December 22, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  10. David

    Well this is par for the course. These people in congress are not in it for the citizens but for themselves and the international bankers and corporations that enrich themselves.

    December 22, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  11. medspw

    Unbelieveable. Of the People, for the People, by the People... my foot. Welcome comrades.

    December 22, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. Danny

    No one knows yet what this bill will achieve or cost. People who oppose it now will approve of it if they or someone they know benefits from it, and the reverse it also true if it ends up costing them more money. Only time will tell what people's ultimate opinion will be and that's the poll numbers that matter.

    December 22, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  13. David

    There is an uprising coming...........soon. You can see it on the horizon. Bush was bad enough but it is just worsening.

    December 22, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  14. GOP lies = health care poll

    Who rally knows what's in this bill? I bet the only reason most people are against it is because the GOP marketing machine used fear tactics and lies to get people against the bill.

    It's pity, the American public seems to fall for this every time. Remember all those "weapons of mass" destruction that they were always talking about. The fact is – if a GOPs lips are moving, they are most likely lying.

    December 22, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  15. Marc, Canada's single payer system is the best!

    The GOP could have prevented all these costly side deals by doing what they were voted in to do – govern. This party of NO is the real reason it was necessary to pay off all these state Senators. That and your stupid filibuster rule in the senate.

    December 22, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  16. Bob

    It is obvious the current Congress does not care what we think. They are going to do something terrible so they can go down in history. What a way to be remembered. I hope they soon realize what they are doing to us and stop.
    It is obvious the craziness when any Republican motion is objected to so that no vote can be taken. This would slow down the "agenda timeline" of before Christmas.
    I just hope someone will file for an injunction against implementation on the question of its constitutionality.

    December 22, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. stevetall

    Are we a country gone mad?!? Why would anyone not favor providing better healthcare coverage to more of my fellow Americans? The AMA is in favor of it, and who would know better about this stuff than the doctors? Well, maybe those unfortunate Americans whose only option is the emergency room, but certainly not the insurance companies and certainly not the Republican Party.

    Get with it, folks. The system could not get any more screwed up than it is right now, so any change is progress. Don't be afraid of it.

    December 22, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  18. kate

    What is so frustrating about the way that these polls are reported is that nobody mentions that TONS of liberals oppose this bill now (i.e. would say that to a pollster) because it does not go far enough. Americans are not used to knowing this much about how bills get made. It's the cold, hard truth folks (the sausage analogy is very apt) and it is NOTHING new. Polling daily in our new Twittering world is meaningless.

    December 22, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  19. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    This is to get the process started. The real bill will be done in the Conference committee between the House and Senate. That is the bill that everyone needs to watch. If you can't get it there, there is no way to get it the president.

    These surveys are way too small. They need to be at least 1% of the population. These groups aren't representative of everyone.

    December 22, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. reasonable man

    Yep, and the civil rights amendment was not favored by the "public" not to mention World War 2. This is a representational democracy, the country is not run by "polls" for very good reason.

    December 22, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. indy

    There's no way to know all that's in the bill since it changes with every vote that needs to be "bought". I wonder if it will be published in its entirety or if it will be kept secret. The Senators and Representatives don't care what we think or want until it comes to election time; beyond that, we're irrelevant.

    December 22, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  22. Marc, Canada's single payer system is the best!

    Polls on this topic are basically meaningless.

    Most Americans have adequate to good healthcare coverage and they are not about to vote against themselves. Most Americans are proving through these polls they don't give a hoot about their fellow Americans and don't have a true sense of equality for all. Shameless. Wake up people.

    December 22, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. Obama= WORST president EVER

    There's a surprise. Dems don't READ the bill...don't want anyone to KNOW WHAT'S IN IT... Americans DON'T WANT IT...and yet, they'll cram it down our throats anyway.

    Democrats are the WORST.

    December 22, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  24. Jay

    Well when you try to appease the party of no and try to be partisan you get a crappy bill that no one likes. Shoulda just railroaded it in while it was in it's original form, like the right wingers did under Bush. Lesson learned.

    December 22, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12