March 22nd, 2010
12:00 PM ET
4 years ago

CNN poll: Americans don't like health care bill

 The Capitol dome on the eve of the House of Representatives’ health care reform votes.
The Capitol dome on the eve of the House of Representatives’ health care reform votes.

Washington (CNN) - A majority of Americans have a dim view of the sweeping health care bill passed by the House, saying it gives Washington too much clout and won't do much to reduce their own health care costs or federal deficits, according to a new poll released Monday.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll found that 59 percent of those surveyed opposed the bill, and 39 percent favored it. All of the interviews were conducted before the House voted Sunday night, but the contents of the bill were widely known.

In addition, 56 percent said the bill gives the government too much involvement in health care; 28 percent said it gives the government the proper role and 16 percent said it leaves Washington with an inadequate role.

On the question of costs, 62 percent said the bill increases the amount of money they personally spend on health care; 21 percent said their costs would remain the same and 16 percent said they would decrease.

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The poll's results about the bill's fiscal impact were particularly stark: 70 percent of respondents said they believed deficits would go up because of the bill; 17 percent felt they would stay the same and 12 percent said they would go down.

After more than a year of partisan debate, the House voted 219-212 in favor of a bill that the Senate had passed on Christmas Eve. President Obama is expected to sign it on Tuesday.

The measure constitutes the biggest expansion of federal health care guarantees since Medicare and Medicaid were enacted more than four decades ago. The House also approved a series of amendments to the bill through a separate so-called reconciliation bill. The Senate, which must pass the reconciliation measure for the full package to take effect, is expected to vote this week.

According to a preliminary estimate by the Congressional Budget Office, the overall reform legislation would cost $940 billion over the course of a decade. Offsetting provisions would reduce deficits by $143 billion in the first 10 years and by more than $1 trillion in the following decade.

The CNN poll also suggests that public opposition to health care will not necessarily be a boon to Republicans in the 2010 midterm elections in Congress.

Roughly one in five of respondents who said they opposed the bill did so because it was not liberal enough, and those people are unlikely to vote Republican. Take them out of the picture and opposition to the bill because it is too liberal is 43 percent.

"The Democrats have another advantage - most Americans also trust Barack Obama more than the GOP on health care," said Keating Holland, CNN's polling director. "That gives the president an opportunity - and seven months - to make the affirmative case for the health care bill."

The survey was conducted on March 19-21 through telephone interviews with 1,030 adult Americans. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.


Filed under: CNN Polls • Health care • Popular Posts
soundoff (318 Responses)
  1. John independent from NY

    The Republicans failed us for 8 years with their horrid fiscal policies. Now the Democrats have joined with their own ineptidudes. This health care bill is a fiscal disaster. Give it time and it will prove it.

    It is time for the Libertarian Party to make it's stand. This latest fiasco of a process is the reason why a legitimate 3rd party so vital to America. When we needed good policy we got cow manure.

    March 22, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. Joseph B

    People are against the bill yet know very little about it. The article claims that the contents of the bill were widely known. But then the statistics quoted are at odds with the bill. So what is the real story?

    March 22, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  3. Joe Gaines

    Most Americans say they don't like the health care bill my question is what do they like nothing then don't complain, just keep paying the rising cost if they don't like that then come up with some new ideas which I have not heard of any so what do you want, nothing but just to complain because you really want it free!

    March 22, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. Are you kidding me?

    Congratulations Mr. President!!!!! Thank you for standing up and being the strong man that you are. We are sooooooooooo pround of you because no matter what they threw at you, you did not back down and you handled each situation with a calm reserve that many would not have been able to pull off. I think yesterday was a perfect day for Mrs. Kennedy to visit with Mr. Kennedy. This was as much his fight as ours. I am sure he is pleased.

    March 22, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  5. Crystal Harmonson

    I don't agree, this is way too general of a statement. ONly some of Americans don't agree. It may not be perfect but I agree with what they are doing.
    This is what is wrong with Journalism today. Go for the shocker, and let's not be accurate at all. We want readers and we don't care about the truth.

    March 22, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  6. Mikey

    Ask them to explain why they support/oppose the legislation and you will probably find most Americans don't understand what's in the legislation or how it really will impact them.

    The people shouting the loudest are just repeating vauge talking points that are either highly exaggerate or completely mischaracterize the facts.

    When the individual components of the legislation are polled, most people support most of the actual provisions of the legislation. It is sad that misinformation reigns supreme.

    March 22, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  7. cesan

    I'd still like to know who long it took these Americans to read the bill? Even with the posting on Thursday – not too many read anything. How can you all let yourselves be lead by whatever someone says. Please read the bill then decide what part you do not like. Why is this so bad. Millions of people wait every month for their Social Security checks and they even get inflation increases. Not much, but it's there. Please think before you are lead down to the slaughter. Don't just agree with your neighbor without reading the bill first.

    March 22, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  8. KMAN

    This poll as do ALL polls need to be tempered by the fact that most Americans are either woefully ignorant or plain stupid ... and in many cases they"re both ignorant and stupid. There is no wisdom in the collective opinion of the American people ... if there were ... GWB would not have served two terms!

    March 22, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. Nicey

    Correction: Republicansdon't like the bill!

    March 22, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. susan

    What about the 80 or 90 percent of americans that were againest keeping the wars going to which cheney said... SO !

    March 22, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. Emma

    Here we go again, dumb Americans reacting on emotions rather what is truly in this sweeping legislation on health care.

    For the 59% who think this is a bad bill, obviously you do not have to worry about health care. Get a grip............how can a child with cancer who can reach the cap in medical insurance just by living everyday and receiving cancer treatment. I do not under the American people who feel......."I got mine" so the he!!@ with everyone else.

    We care only for what we can get never mind the suffering of others. Get a grip and support this health bill....I hope you don't find yourself having to sell all of your assets just to get medical treatment and then have the insurance company drop you because the acutuary says your health is expensive to insure.

    Tell all of those House Republicans that if I had my way, they would have to pay signficantly more for their cadillac health coverage they receive.

    March 22, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. Nicey

    Faux News scared them.....they are even afraid to leave their homes>

    March 22, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  13. MJ

    So – We still can't buy Insurance across State lines, Insurance Companies are not restricted to rate increases, Preexisting Conditions only currently apply to children, and you can bet Taxes will soar. Great Job Demos!

    March 22, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  14. Annie, Atlanta

    What I especially like about this bill is the fact that Democrats in the House put the people of this country before their political careers. Can't say the same about the Republicans. It makes me sad that they couldn't be bothered. We'll see how that plays out.

    It isn't the best bill. Single payer or at least a public option would have been better. But here's to hoping it's a start in the right direction. And that, for me at least, would be to stop giving money to companies that don't have our best interests even on their radar. For-profit health care is a detriment to us all. Oh well.

    March 22, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  15. Nini

    Sad day for America and liberality.

    I was in tears as I watched our constitution shred to pieces and foundation demolished brick by brick in the hands of radicals.

    Is it too late to save this country?

    March 22, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  16. The Calabash Kid

    Let us be candid with ourselves. Most Americans have no idea what is in the bill because they don't read the news. They may glance at headlines and listen to a morning show but that's it. Also, Republicans have told so many outright lies about the bill that many Americans now believe the Republican fantasy rather than the reality.

    Here's the real threat to this bill, assuming it becomes law: America's hospital corporations, pharmaceutical corporations, and health product corporations will try to turn this bill into an ATM machine for private enterprise. They will overbill, skim, cheat, double-bill, distort, and overcharge. They will hire lobbyists to bribe Congress to insert funny little sentences in future bills which allow them to buy something for fifty cents and charge the government a hundred dollars for it. Look at all the "fraud" in Medicare. Who is defrauding the government? America's corporations, that's who. And if a corporation is caught stealing a million dollars, they are fined a hundred thousand and told not to do it any more. They are the ones we need to watch out for.

    March 22, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  17. Loletha

    Human lives are pricless why are people so worried about cost?
    MY LIFE AND THE PEOPLE LIVES OF THE USA IS WORTH MORE THAN ANY MONEY ON THIS EARTH.

    STOP PUTTING A PRICE ON HUMAN LIVES IT'S JUST WRONG.

    March 22, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  18. Sgt. USMC

    It's funny how when things go your way you really don't care about polls or even care to protest. However, when things are going the opposite of how you want them to go, you protest and sign up for these stupid polls. The real poll happened in Nov of 2008 and the people spoke.

    March 22, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  19. Dawn

    Imagine, the bill passed, and the sky did not fall.
    People get over it, it's a done deal. Now what will the Republicans
    sabotage next? Mit Romney, claims that the bill did not attract any Republicans. I wonder why? Even if they liked anything in the bill they would still go against it. If the Repugs cared about the American people, they would stop fighting and work for the good of the people. Everyone should have a decent healthcare plan.
    The Repugs are a bunch of evil people. They care nothing about the middle class or the poor. They are all about money and making a profit, even if it means at the expense of ones life.
    They preach about how righteous they are, and they are the biggest hypocrites. I know you guys are spitting nails because Barack was successful where so many failed.
    Now this is why we have smart folks as Democrats, and your party,
    now really are a bunch of illiterates.
    Take a look at what your party attracts. People that will listen to you guys rant and rave, and shove lies down their throats rather than
    getting the facts for themselves. No brains.
    Well, guess what you idiotic party, God is not sleeping. One would think the way you Repugs talk about the bible that you would know better.
    At the end of the day, God was in Control.
    He gave Barack the insight to do what had to be done.
    Imagine, BARACK DID IT, when no one else could.
    What a smart man.
    You folks are a PATHETIC bunch.

    March 22, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  20. IndyVoter

    Did anyone ever think to ask respondents HOW they knew that their cost would go up or that the deficit would go up, other than because the Republicans say so? I'm glad CNN had enough sense to mention that 20% of those opposed to the bill are LIBERAL DEMOCRATS who wanted the bill to do more (though it was at the END of the article). That means that only 46% who oppose it are either Republican or Independent. The Liberal Democrats will hardly vote with Republicans in 2010 or 2012 and will join the 38% percent (the rest of the Democrats) who supported healthcare in voting for Democratic candidates. Republicans shouldn't be counting their chickens before they hatch.

    March 22, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  21. Ryan

    I love the sugar coating from CNN. "If you take out the liberal people who are unhappy with the bill that only leavs 43% that oppose. Okay...how about the liberal people that like the bill? Are you going to take them out? If so....wouldnt that be less people who are for it? What's next...well 3% of those people are libetarians and they wouldn't vote for repubs either...so see it's not so bad. GIVE ME A BREAK! VOTE OUT EVERY CANDIDATE OR INCUMBENT WITH A "D" NEXT TO THIER NAME!!!

    March 22, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  22. Willy Brown

    America has been against the bill (for a whole year) since its crooked devise in the back rooms of the democrat leader office. CNN and the rest of the Obama loving media outlets never covered it but only air Obama loving stuff like date night, basketball picks, Barry’s family vacation and anytime be wanted to bash President Bush. All cover for this unpopular bill. You keep on covering for him CNN, the rating show how good you and the rest lag behind that mean old FOX. In short; Well DUH!

    March 22, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  23. Nini

    Sorry pls. fix this "Liberty".

    March 22, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  24. NC

    That is so true......if the house and senate really cared what the American people have to say and want, than why did it pass.....vote out the crooks in 2010 and 2012...

    March 22, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  25. vette gal

    I really think your polls are skewed. The only reason most of the populace is against the bill is because it doesn't contain the public option that the majority wanted. Hopefully, this will be added somewhere down the line as I'm sure this bill will be tweaked time and time again.

    March 22, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
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