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. marlene

    As often happens Americans believe the misinformation from the GOP and the media regarding the health care reform bill. Depends on what "spin" one is listening to, or where polled citizens are getting their facts. Don't believe everything you read or hear. To many times the headline teaser, especially recently for CNN, for an article is totally different from the actual content or tone of the article.

    March 22, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  2. Capt. Snarky

    Yep, we don't like it. The fact is that it is going to wind up as an underfunded entitlement program by the middle of this century – guaranteed. With it choking off our economy, our nation's decline will make us look a lot like Greece currently is. Bunch of whiny, tit-babies rioting because our government can't afford our luxuries anymore.............

    Good luck, America. Hope you like the hell our congress voted in......

    March 22, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. Dick Cheney For President In 2012

    59% of the voters opposed the bill. Nevertheless, Obama and the Politburo rammed it through anyway.

    59% of the voters might be enough to initiate impeachment proceedings.

    March 22, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  4. KM

    I think I figured out why most americans didn't want this bill to pass and here is my theory. If 95% of americans have access to healthcare then there is no way to differentiate between the "haves" and the "have nots". Everyone will be able to see a doctor of their choosing. This is all about social and economic classes.

    If I make $90,000 per year and the guy at the local gas station make $15,000 per year but we both share the same doctor then we both share something in common. In my humble opinion, some people in each class don't feel that it is right for someone in a lower class standing to have the same things that they have. I am turning off my sarcasm now but tell me how did that sound.

    March 22, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  5. Th3rdpwr

    I couldn't possibly care less about the deficit.

    As someone who's unemployed but still has to pay rent, buy food and, generally, survive. I have to continue to spend whatever funds available and, thus, incur debt. Bush's deficits and financial crisis put America in this same position. At least the money is now being spent on creating something to benefit American citizens.

    Besides, after six years of gross fiscal irresponsibility, I'm not taking the naysayings of repubs concerning this country's monetary solvency. If these do nothings want to help the deficit vote themselves a pay cut, shrink their staffs, close some of the military bases we have around the world, and spend their energy on getting us out of these wars, rather than feeding enemy propaganda, by saying how weak America is.

    Finally, if there's a choice between government choosing my healthcare, and profit hungry insurance companies choosing my healthcare, I'll go with government everytime!
    After all don't these conservs always say this is the greatest country on Earth? Well, our government is a big part of that reason.

    March 22, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  6. Open Minded

    I'm really getting tired of everyone speaking for me. I'll speak for myself...I'm all for HEALTH CARE....I remember when both my children were still at home, they were both kicked off Kids Connection. They said I made to much money. What a joke that was. That happened during the time Joannes was governor of Nebraska....and Bush was in office. I was faced with paying the mortgage, paying the utilities, putting food on the table, car expenses, etc. and most important figuring out how I was going to pay for HEALTH INSURANCE. My work at that time was no premium for single coverage, but close to $400.00 to add my children to the policy. So my children went without coverage for almost 2 years. During that time my son was injured with a baseball bat to the head and were talking close to $4,000.00 in doctor expenses which I'm still paying on. There now adults and now they can have the chance to be insured without breaing there bank accounts. During all of this debating going over HEALTH CARE, I have never heard the GOP come up with anything. All they have done is instill fear in the American population. My dad also is still paying for my stepmother's fight with Colon Cancer almost 5 1/2 years after her death. He is '75' and that is wrong. Some of this name calling going on isn't showing are children how to behave as adults. If my taxes go up I don't care if it means it's going to help someone else get coverage. I prefer this over lining the pockets of the GOP. Thank You for allowing me to make my comments which Is A Right that I have as an American. The GOP is mad because it wasn't them who got it done. It was the democrats. Everyone have a grand week.

    March 22, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  7. Doyle Wiley, MI

    I have health care so the bill doesn't impact me, but I'm glad there will be something in place to help the over 30 millions Americans that are not in my shoes. Great job Mr. President.

    March 22, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  8. one voice

    The only people that don't like the HCR is the Insurance Industry, the filthy rich and the Corporate sheep that are too dumb to know any better. This bill will put in place important regulation that will stop Insurance Companies from dropping coverage when you get sick, stop Insurance Companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions and take 1.3 trillion dollars off the deficit in the first 20 years. Who in their right mind could argue against this?

    March 22, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. Wendy

    No one polled me!
    Who are the majority of Americans that you polled?
    I want a change in health care and happy that it has passed.
    I have health care at my work and it keeps getting more expensive every year .
    I do believe people should be responsible and get health care for their family and if they cannot afford it they should be able to be helped out with getting insurance.
    My husband has lost his job and is taking care of our 3 year old because we could not afford daycare anymore while looking for a job.
    I had to put him on my insurance which is costing $$$$.
    Maybe their should be more people being polled in the millions and not the thousands on how they feel about certain subject before you say the majority of americans.
    Thanks,
    Wendy

    March 22, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  10. andrew

    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

    ___

    How exactly would the average american be able to knowingly answer this question? They dont know how this will affect their costs personally.

    Another useless poll.

    March 22, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. Lynne

    The rancorof the Rep. Leaders is most unprofessioal. Eric Cantor and John Boeher appear as men of doom and gloom, of deep unhealthy anger, if these Republicans know so much about economics and can see into the future how is it that they lead us right into the near economic collapse of last year? The language of these men is mean spirited and I wish to say I'm weary of hearing "what all Americans" want! How can these men be so arrogant to imply that they alone know everyone's mind? Once again Republicans are using fear to manipulate Americans, and once again this form of propaganda seems to be spreading like a deadly virus. I do not for one minute think the people of the Rep. Party care about me, their agenda is about holding office, power, and tax cuts for themselves.

    March 22, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. Tom, Bradenton,FL

    I am still looking for a job. Now with another $2trillion added in health care Obama has spent $4trillion in one year more than Bush in 8 and I thought Bush was bad.

    March 22, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  13. Repubhypocrites

    CNN your polls are BS. Tell that to the families of those 45,000 people per year who die due to lack of coverage. Or those that are uninsured. I am a tax payer and I support. HCR. The greed and selfishness in this country is pitiful. Its not going to be perfect. But its a start. Things will improve later. CNN and these republicans/teabaggers need to stop with this all or nothing attitude.

    March 22, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  14. Ed

    The most important statistic from this poll is that 57 percent of Americans, a majority, favor health care reform, but some of these Americans do not like the current bill because it does not do enough. This says more about the progressive nature of Americans than the republicans pundits care to recognize and the democrats should leverage moving forward to further reduce costs. This bill further demonstrates that the Democrats are the only party capable of lowering the deficit while still attempting to improve the health care for all Americans. We need to move forward and reduce costs a process that can include ideas from the left and right.

    March 22, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  15. Right Leaning Independent

    BUT, the folks standing in line with their hands out for another freebie will post on here that they are estastic that it was passed! The entitlers won this fight but the middle class will lose in the end when they find themselves paying taxes for this free or subsidized health care!

    March 22, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  16. Michelle

    Well since this bill will be changed for the better by the Senate, I fail to see the need for this poll. No one liked everything in the bill...it was watered down and changed for the prissy Reiublicans who wouldn't have voted for it no matter what. Now we can go back and put in the public option and some cost saving measures. A dumb way to do it, but that's how the system works.

    March 22, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  17. NVa Native

    I'm sure the right wing whackos / tea-baggers will make a big deal about this one poll by pairing it with the deception that every one who doesn't think the bill does enough agrees with them, which of course would just be another Republican/Fox lie.
    From thge party of "NO" truth that's exactly what we can expect.
    This is a great day for working middle class Americans.
    Shame on the corproate sponsored Republican thugs.

    March 22, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  18. Glenn Koons

    So the socialist monstrosity has passed and now the Middle Class will be getting whacked. There will be no tax cuts for the Middle Class. And with the IRS now in charge of Healthcare, we will be like people who will simply open our wallets and give them to the Feds to take care of non-earners, illegals, and frankly losers in our society. Polls will show that this is hated. But no matter to our new Venezuela Govt., amnesty will happen and illegals will be on the dole to give Obama and the Dems new voters for 2012. This is not a Party or Prez who loves America, free enterprise, liberty and our national security. This is a group who wants to punish America for its supposed greed. I frankly hope all Americans will wake up and instead punish them at the polls in Nov.

    March 22, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  19. pat

    nobody poll me. I like some of the health care bill but this is better then nothing.

    March 22, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. Right Leaning Independent

    No worries! Obama will lecture, I mean educate us on how we are misguided!

    March 22, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  21. enough already

    Just wait until Obama does his road show to drum up support. The opposition will surely grow.

    March 22, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  22. j

    Americans don't understand the health care reform bill, what's in it, and how it will benefit them. When they see that's it's not the big scary thing the Republicans are making it out to be, Americans will be fine with it.

    The Republicans and Conservatives that voted against this bill and are obstructing other measures because our President is biracial and a Democrat are on the wrong side of history.

    March 22, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. Washington DC Insider

    This bill will most likely pass, but the fallout from this bill will have wide reaching effects over the 2010 elections and into 2012. While Obama can say "Mission Accomplished" and check this off his To Do list, he has alienated the entire Republican Party and started to create a revolt within his own party with the Blue Dog Democrats.

    I suspect we'll see some interesting things happen over the next 6 months, but I feel Independents will cause the control of the House to swing more to the middle and take it away from the Liberals who are literally bleeding our Country dry. When 60% of those polled, or 60% of the Nation is not a fan of your bill...that is a warning sign. There was no mandate, but everyone is acting like there was. Interesting days, interesting days.

    March 22, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  24. Jon

    All these surveys say is that people have no understanding of what the bill does. 62% think it will increase their personal healthcare expenses? Somehow I doubt they've done the math. 70% think deficits will go up, despite the CBO's report $100 billion to the contrary?

    Crap like like is exactly why we shouldn't govern based on polls and makes me glad Obama didn't cave to the numbers.

    March 22, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  25. jeremiah

    it looks like these poll results just show how little the amiercan public knows about the bill

    March 22, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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