December 22nd, 2009
10:33 AM ET
9 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. Obama Enemy List Wannabe

    Shucks – do I WANT this bad bill, so as to get these bums thrown out next year.... or do I NOT want this bad bill, because it is bad for the country.... I'll pick my country. It's a bad bill. Stop it!

    December 22, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  2. Jim

    Responses to surveys are influenced by how a question is asked. The survey should ask do you approve of the bill the Senate passed. Secondly, what is your political affiliation? Third, should all U.S. citizens have health insurance?

    December 22, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  3. Brad

    An interesting poll result. If we look at just the approve/disapprove numbers, we could conclude that the majority of Americans are opposed health care reform (which I have heard some politicians state). However, if we look at the responses on the public option and Medicare buy-in, substantial majorities are in favor of those items. One might conclude that the reason that 60% of Americans disapprove of the health care reform bill is that it doesn't go far enough and that critical items have been "compromised out" of the bill. We must be careful when we interpret statistics and when we listen to polititians who quote them.

    December 22, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. Michael

    Most of the opposition is not against health-care reform at all; it is from disappointed people who were counting on stronger legislation to limit the rapacious greed of insurance companies and loosen their stranglehold on the necks of the American public.
    We find ourselves in this situation thanks to the enormous and well-coordinated effort by Republicans to make sure the insurance industry wins and the rest of us remain hapless hosts to their parasitic behavior. Thanks for nothing, GOP.
    It borders on dishonesty to report polling results like these in a way that makes it seem like the majority of Americans opposes health care reform. We want more of it, not less. We are dissatisfied with the way it is going. We deserve a fighting chance against the abuses of wealthy and powerful corporations whose only intention is to rape our finances, our dignity, and our future.

    December 22, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    In the 1960s, I am sure Americans opposed civi rights legislation by similar numbers. What may be popular with Fox viewers, the health insurance industry, and the republicans, may not be in the best interest for all Americans in the long run.

    December 22, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. Mountain Dude

    We wanted universal healthcare and we are not happy about them giving up the public option. We still want reform but we know that will come if we vote out the GOP obstruction in 2010. Nobody wants this bill in this form but with the GOP filibuster it is a necessary step. The poll results don't show this side.

    December 22, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  7. Citizen B

    Fear works again. Congrats Republicans – scare granny enough and you might just win – again.

    December 22, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  8. Isaac

    Polls are unreliable, and are biased based on the sample set. 1,616 registered voters is hardly is hardly a representation of the country. I for one support the president and the massive task of getting this legislation through that he has taken on.

    December 22, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  9. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    But will the Democrats listen to the will of the people? No, they have their own Leftist agenda to implement and don't care if it bankrupts us in the process.

    December 22, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  10. Darrin

    A sizable portion of those who oppose the bill do so because they believe it doesn't go far in enough in providing coverage, regulating the industry, etc. So it's not as if a majority of the American people are against reform in general. It's a little deceiving, or at least careless, to report it that way when clearly the poll doesn't allow us to see how many would support a more progressive bill.

    December 22, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. Rob

    If the AMA, the insurance lobby and the pharmaceutical lobby are all happy with it, I am certain I will get it right in the wallet. Since those 3 are happy, I'm not.

    December 22, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. L for Legend

    It looks like pools change everyday. If that's the case, tomorrow's poll numbers will look better.

    December 22, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  13. Worst president ever

    These democrats don't care about how the American people feel about their legislation. They're going to plow this thing through regardless. Shame on these politicians that got kickbacks and bribes in exchange for their vote! They promised us the most ethical and transparent congress ever. Instead, we've gotten the worst type of politician: the one in sheep's clothing.

    December 22, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. Casey

    Again, how many of those opposed are opposed because this doesn't go far enough. I'd like to know how many people are like me, pissed that the Dems gave up on the major reforms that would have made this good legislation just because the GOP is really good at stonewalling.

    December 22, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  15. Tom

    This headline is misleading, CNN, and you ought to know it. Most Americans favor health care reform, and a plurality favor the bill that is being done vs. either no bill or the public option.

    December 22, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  16. HR

    This is just another action showing that the Congress and Obama have a total disregard for the wishes of the majority of Americans – it is truly time for a peaceful revolution in this country – throw them all out and start fresh.!

    December 22, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  17. A Guy

    Fear mongering and lying work. That's what this poll tells me.

    December 22, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  18. bob in LA

    A much higher percentage knwo nothing abou tthe healthcare bill but comment anyway.
    Polls mean nothig

    December 22, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  19. texas Demo

    Will you guys please get off of that old line. Everyone that has any
    common sence knows that the so called polls CNN is taking are
    pointed toward a certain section of the American people. When the
    public look around and ask folks are you in favor of H.C. change
    and reform , the answer is 9 out of 10 a yes. The problem is
    any bill passed will not satisfy everyone.

    December 22, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. Bob

    I'm not sure that Obama and his party even care what the American public thinks. They appear to believe that they can change so much so fast that future elections won't matter. To reverse the carnage that is taking place will require the same majorities in both houses for conservatives that currently exists for the left. Obama and the democrats know that even though they are likely to get their butts kicked in November, that they are unlikely to lose enough seats for conservatives to gain the necessary supermajority to stop this nonsense. The whole thing makes me both furious and sad, as my kids don't face a very promising future in this country.

    December 22, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  21. Katie

    It's only a matter of time when those who do have health insurance may not tomorrow. Inusrance compainies can wiggle out of paying just about everything and anything. Preimums are sky-high. Insurance companies have raped and re-raped the American public for years....time to change!!

    December 22, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  22. Jose

    What a bunch of spoiled brats in this country. If they don't get exactly what they want, they desire nothing to do with it. We all need to grow up and take our heads out of our proverbial you know whats. I'm so tired of politics on both sides of the isle and the news organizations exploiting this to no end with loud mouths who think everyone has to hear them say something.

    December 22, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  23. Mike

    When was the last time congress, on either side of the aisle, really cared about what their constituents actually want?

    December 22, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  24. EDR

    Reid says that 45,000 people die each year due to a lack of health insurance. If the current health care legislation is supposed to prevent those deaths, why are democrats waiting 4 years to implement the plan? That's 180,000 more deaths that will occur because the plan does not kick in until 2014. But, what if those 45,000 deaths are occurring among the 20+ million who will still be uninsured after the plan kicks in? That would mean this plan does nothing to stop the deaths Reid blames on a lack of health care. Nice going Dems!!!

    December 22, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  25. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    American people are easily swayed by catchy phrases, like 'drill, baby drill,' 'pallin' with terrorists,' but eventually come to their senses. In the long run, helping 45,000,000 uninsured Americans and addressing the needs of 45,000 who die without insurance and health care each year will be the right thing to do.

    December 22, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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