March 22nd, 2010
12:00 PM ET
5 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. Dave

    Remember everyone; your government knows what's best for you!!!!
    The will of the people ignored again. The two-party system is a scam. BO is a puppet as have been most presidents since Wilson.

    March 22, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  2. Pamela Porter

    Thank you President Obama and your staff for your hard work on behalf of the American people. This country does need health care and I am sure the people who hate change will find out what a good thing they opposed.

    Thank you Senator Kennedy for your years of hard work. Wish you could be here to finally see your years of hard work paying off.

    It is a great day for America!

    Austin, TX

    March 22, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. tjaman

    Again, Murkens don't like the bill. The bill is big and scary. It will cost so much and won't do nothin' and now we're all Chinese.

    Weird, because the actual provisions of the bill are such that everyone seemed to be in favor of (except for insurance companies, of course.)

    We manage this kind of victory for all Americans and Rs are still running around trying to frighten people. "Rationing! Abortions! Death panels! Booga booga booga!"

    What. Ever. *eyeroll

    March 22, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  4. VA guy

    Aww what happened? You wanted change, you got it. Try to live with now!

    March 22, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. emmett brown

    How about polling the 30 million people without health insurance......

    March 22, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  6. steve barlin

    Americans are told not to like health care bill, haven't read it, don't understand it. Keep the masses blind, its good for the economy right?

    March 22, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  7. Richie in Mass

    Doesn't matter what the people want. Chicago poltics have a simple rule. Once you get elected do what you want and ignore the voters. Appease them near the election or pay them off.

    March 22, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  8. Patrick

    "All politics is local"
    "All politics is personal"

    Last night while giving their final speeches before the vote, everytime I did not hear a single republican give a story of someone in their district going through hardship as a result of the status quo, and what should be done to help the person.

    On the other hand democrates told story after story after story after story....
    It makes you wonder. Who is actually for the people? Who is working for the people?

    WHERE IS THE SYMPATHY, EMPATHY...

    March 22, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. mallymal

    this is a messege for the gop. please stop these racist practices.you all have had control of congress,and knew we as americans needed to overhaul heathcare but all of you simply refuse to address this issue,yes it will be expensive to fix but it has to be done and although the cost is expensive,in the long run the benefits will far outweigh any cost associated with this bill.

    March 22, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. Hammerer

    So. What difference does that make?

    March 22, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  11. John in WV

    If you want to conduct a real poll, exclude those who have health care, especially those with employer provided who pay little for it. Naturally the majority of these people are going to be against any form of health reform that they feel might threaten their own well being. This is the kind of poll the RNC would conduct.

    March 22, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. Tennessee Libertarian

    This isn't about health care.

    It's about the government wanting to take over our lives.

    Just like the Brits in 1774.

    March 22, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. Edwin

    This supports the belief that lies travels faster. Wait until they know what is inside they bill; then Republicans would be toasted.

    March 22, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  14. Stu - Las Vegas

    give the bogus polls a rest, why don't ya

    March 22, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  15. Diane Paul

    This report is confusing as it mixes up people who think the bill is not liberal enough with those who fear government involvement. It gives conservatives fodder thanks to misleading information. Am I happy with the bill? No, I don't think it goes far enough. Am I unhappy with President Obama and the Congress? NO, NO and NO. I am sick of people who have fought and fought against this...I say that if they don't want this they should give up their Medicare and social security benefits.

    March 22, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  16. Maria Petriv

    communism has arrived "for the people" "with the people", heard the comments loud and clear this morning from President Obama. Can't fight it as I am Canadian. don't have the energy to fight left wingers any longer. Much concern for the poor (and always give clothes – not money to charity) but come from an immigrant family who's father worked 3 jobs to keep us going and to further himself to help us in the future and enjoy some of the fruits of life himself. Unfortunately heard quite a few of the speeches lately from Obama urging children to not listen to their parents all the time, that maybe they should think for themselves and that he wants everybody to be helping for the good of the people. Are we trying to create more bums and more people who tax the welfare system? More illegitimate children? If you can't afford to have them – take birth control – it's available anywhere – however if you want to loaf off the government then by all means have more kids. This is a terrible trend that the United States is heading towards.

    March 22, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  17. the1Fred

    This country was built under the Rule of Law to prevent the tyranny that the colonies suffered under British Parliamentary sovereignty from happening again.
    The Rule of Law was formulated with the US Constitution as the highest law in the land with no body above the law. The US Constitution defined and limited the powers of the US Congress expressly to prevent Parliamentary sovereignty.
    Throughout history, the US Congress has been stretching the limits of the Interstate Commerce and General Welfare clauses, culminating with the passage of Health Care where the last Constitutional restraint on Congress' power has been shaken off. Without Constitutional restraint, there is no law to limit the power of Congress, making this country subject to Parliamentary sovereignty – exactly what the founders attempted to prevent! We have become what we've rebelled against!
    John Locke in The Second Treatise of Civil Government states: "Where-ever law ends, tyranny begins", and when the highest law, it is the highest tyranny.
    Whereas the US Supreme Court has abdicated it's responsibility to defend the US Constitution, it falls on each State to defend their rights, and join together in restoring the US Constitution.

    March 22, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  18. rmc

    Odumbo is a nut and his group the people will make a change before long

    March 22, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  19. Lisa - St. Louis MO

    You didn't call me; I am in full support of this bill – soon to be a law.

    I work in healthcare and think that once people realize that the sky is not falling and government employees WILL NOT be standing over their beds, I think the public opinion will change.

    Thank you to all who passed this bill.

    March 22, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  20. CBass

    For the last time, please include the reason people oppose the bill in your polls so that it gets interpreted correctly. This is so high school journalism!

    March 22, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  21. John A. Worth

    Gee, I guess the truth is in there somewhere. Not liberal enough. Imagine that.... some folks have the capacity to care about their fellow man and not want to shot them in a war or with their handguns or rifles they keep stuffed under their pillows. We are moving in the right direction. In the coming years will be universal health care, and gun control and intelligent controlled discourse between adults. In other words, Democratic control of our world.

    March 22, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  22. billy

    Taken on the heels of Tea-Bagger mania, I'm not surprised CNN's poll is skewed.

    What about the polls that have shown health care reform to be enormously popular for the last 2 years?

    March 22, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  23. Alex

    Key point is the poll was taken before the vote. It'll be interesting to see the numbers after a little time has passed and if the Republican/Tea Party fear mongering is proven to be just that.

    March 22, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. Uwe Sartori

    All the poll does is confirm if you scream and yell a lie loud and long enough, people begin to believe it.

    March 22, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  25. Poll me...

    I want the heathcare bill. Who are these imaginary people they poll?

    March 22, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
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