CNN poll: Half favor repealing health care law
January 18th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
3 years ago

CNN poll: Half favor repealing health care law

Washington (CNN) - Just hours before the House of Representatives is scheduled to begin debate on repealing the nation's new health care law, a new national poll indicates that given the same choice lawmakers will face between repealing the whole measure or keeping it all in place, half of all Americans prefer repeal.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, released on Tuesday, also indicates wide partisan and generational divides over the issue.

Tuesday's debate and a scheduled House vote on Wednesday fulfills a campaign promise by congressional Republicans to attempt to repeal health care reform, but also sets up a clash with President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats.

Full results (pdf)

According to the poll, when asked if they would rather see Congress vote to repeal all of the provisions or keep them in place, 50 percent of all Americans favor repeal - even though only one in six dislike everything in the bill. Four in ten oppose such a move.

"Some provisions of the new health care law, such as changes that prevent health insurance companies from denying or dropping coverage for sick people, are extremely popular, and nearly eight in ten Americans say they like at least some aspects of the health care law," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Polls tend to show that Americans would like to repeal some parts of the new law and keep others. But that option won't be available to lawmakers when the House votes this week."

A Quinnipiac University national poll that was also released Tuesday offered similar results. According to the survey, Americans by a 48 to 43 percent margin want Congress to repeal the health care reform.

As expected, the CNN poll indicates a wide partisan divide, with less than a quarter of Democrats in favor of repeal. That number jumps to 47 percent among independent voters and 84 percent among Republicans questioned in the survey.

According to the poll, a generation gap also exists. People over the age of 50 favor repeal by a 57 to 37 percent margin. But those under the age of 50 are split.

"It's possible this is due to the fact that the first provisions of the new law to take effect have benefited younger Americans," adds Holland. "Or it may be an indication that older Americans are concerned that the new law may affect their Medicare benefits."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Jan. 14-16, with 1,014 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Check out CNN's new Polling Center, which provides the most comprehensive polling data covering national questions and the top 2010 election races of any news organization in the political landscape.

– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: CNN Poll Archive • Extra • Health care
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Compare those numbers to the percentage of people who did and didn't want the ACA to pass in its current form in the first place. Yeah, opposition dropped significantly (and continues to do so), but far be it from anyone in the "news" media to point that little factoid out.

    January 18, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    A better poll would be to ask people to say exactly what they'd like repealed; my guess is most of them who say they want it repealed don't have a clue what's in the law or can only spout Fox lies.

    BTW, I have an elderly neighbor who listens to Beck and Hannity and when I asked him why he didn't like the health care reform law, he said because it was "Communist."

    It's that kind of uniformed, knee-jerk reaction that keeps Republicans in office and our nation in peril.

    January 18, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  3. Jane

    Half favor repeal, then does this mean half does not. Jane.

    January 18, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. CDragon

    I would not mind somuch if politicians wre voting to eliminate THEIR helth care, but of course, that's not how it goes. It is my health care in their sights and I say "Hands Off"!!

    January 18, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. Shari from Madison

    I don't want the entire law stopped as what the repubs are offering is more of the same. By their actions, they show that the only people they care for are those who have money and lots of it.They say they care about the poor and starving people, but they have no problem with denying them health care. This bill isn't perfect but it's better than anything the Repubs want. If they had their way the only people who would not be denied health insurance would be the ones who have money, no pre-existing conditions and are republicans. If they do manage to repeal this law we will be one-step closer to being a country of kings and serfs. The kings use the serfs as slaves and consider them lower than a flea.

    January 18, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  6. April

    Considering that the poll done was a CNN poll–with CNN being the pro Obama audience–WOW half of Obama's die hard supporters realize this Healthcare Bill Stinks–and I see the CNN poll about his ratings only 58% of his die hard supporters think he has what it takes to handle a crisis-The fact that 2 years into his presidency people that are behind Obama are still asking if he has found his voice–means the answer is no.

    January 18, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. ReallY!!?

    the more generic mainstream polls says differently. Rasmussen has a higher number against as does Pew. During the debate Dems ignored the public & did not allow the other side to participate. Now u hear morons like Clyburn talking about "changing" Obamacare in a "bipartisan" fashion. Really? OH now u want to compromise after getting your clocks cleaned this pass Nov? No way. Repeal it and start over. Obamacare is out of control and will bankrupt this country. U want free healthcare while u sit around and do nothing? Move to Canada!

    January 18, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. Zaaquir

    So, there are only 1,014 American adults? I guess the other millions of people in this country are illegals or children. It's important to look at how many people were surveyed before you take it seriously. You should also question whether there were EQUAL amount of PEOPLE representing all political parties, all income brackets, made up of every ethnic group, and all parts of the U.S when using these surveys to assist you in making voting decisions. Don't be fooled by the Jedi Mind Trick.

    January 18, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. PalmReader

    "According to the poll, a generation gap also exists. People over the age of 50 favor repeal by a 57 to 37 percent margin. But those under the age of 50 are split."

    Gotta love the baby boomers ... quite the devoted patriots, aren't they? Having always been known for their self-centered interests, this age group certainly isn't above exploitation. Kudos to the TeaPers for reaching out to these seniors with anger and the threat of losing what they have spent a lifetime working for.

    January 18, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  10. GOP Taliban Victim

    Interesting how the polls vary so much. I willing to wager that most of the people that said "Repeal" are already on government-run healthcare via pension or medicare plans. Typical right-wing hyprocrisy and selfishness...as long as they get covered, let everyone else eat cake. You're on your own.

    January 18, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. ReallY!!?

    Please explain why Unions were exempt fr certain aspect of the law? U hear everyone screaming about prices of medicine but Big PHarma was exempt fr any regulations. Why were Insurance companies proteted in the Bill so that they can charge obscene premimus/copay etc to make it unaffordable? Education is free. We see how well the Govt did with that now u want them to manage our healthcare? really?

    January 18, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  12. ReallY!!?

    Why was Congress exempt fr this healthcare bill? Until they reform their cadalliac insurance, stay the hell away fr mine.
    Repeal it now!

    January 18, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  13. SayWhat

    Quesion #1 of your poll : "Thinking about the health care bill which was passed into law last March, do you favor all of the
    proposals in that bill, favor most of them, oppose most of them, or oppose all of them?"
    On its face the poll in invalid for two reasons. First it uses the term "thinking" which connotes a mentsl process. When 74% of those calling themselves Repubicans and 84% of self proclaimed conservatives say to repeal the entire bill, how much thinking can be going on as compared to blind following of their misguided members of Congress/lobbyists of corporate America. Secondly, in order to intelligently oppose something, you would have to have knowledge of what it is and if the majority of Congress has no idea what is in the bill, how would the average American that you call on the phone have any conception of the what the health care reform legislation includes. Why didn't you ask them to point out the part that requires "death panels" or requires America to become a socialist state? You would have to wait for an anwser while they tuned into Fox to see what the forces of ignorance have chosen them to believe.

    January 18, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  14. Eric

    The repubs have no solutions to anything. And you know damn well that if they actually succeeded they wouldn't actually replace it with anything new. They just want us to go back to the dark ages. All they're doing is wasting time and acting like children.

    January 18, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  15. 18-24 year old

    ... Why is the poll listing 18-34 year olds as N/A ? That's a huge swath of the voting population they didn't get high enough polling numbers for to include on the report! Did they only call land lines and not cell phones to poll people? This poll is not accurate.

    January 18, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "It's that kind of uniformed, knee-jerk reaction that keeps Republicans in office and our nation in peril."

    Don't forget...it also keeps ad revenues high for the "news" media. Their paradigm is to sensationalize controversy, giving an idiot arguing that water is dry equal shrift and legitimacy to the guy pointing out that it is indeed wet, all in order to draw viewers and lay claim to being unbiased. I'm even beginning to have more erspect for Faux Noise than outfits like CNN: at least Faux doesn't really (not in any believeable manner) pretend to be neutral or truthful or unbiased. It's a far more insidious form of a societal rot when it's done in the manner CNN has been doing it over the past couple years...failing or refusing to opint out truths, burying inconvenient facts, creating and insisting on a particular narrative despite contrary evidence...presumably because they're afraid that if the truth or good sense turns out to have a liberal "bias", they'll lose whatever small share of the ideological conservatives they haven't already lost to Faux. Just like the right wing extremist Teatards were a tool created by Republicans to shift the center to the right, Faux functions in the same manner in terms of the "news" media and, honestly, I think it's becoming quite apparent that CNN doesn't have the nuggets to stand up to it.

    January 18, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. Freedom of Speech in the USA

    If this administration stops granting waivers to exclude hundreds of thousands from losing their healthcare because of Obamacare, this number would sky rocket. Like Pelosi said, "we have to pass it to find out what is in it". Well, they did and now the disaster it has created has become even more obvious. Stop the madness and repeal this financial and constitutional train wreck.

    January 18, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  18. a health economist

    Come on CNN, be a little more explicit. The wording is "if you had to choose, would you rather see Congress vote to repeal all of the provisions in the new law or would you rather see Congress vote to leave in place all the provisions in the new law?" And we don't even know why these people would want the entire thing repealed. Some may think it does not go far enough. Those people, I would bet, would not favor what the Republicans would do on their own accord yet the Republicans will use this poll to support their 'plan'.

    January 18, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  19. Kathy B

    Someone should thank John Mc Cain for unleashing this beast.

    January 18, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  20. JennyTX

    Universal health care is implemented in all industrialized countries with the exception of the U.S. It is also provided in many developing countries. Just to set the stage, here is a list of countries with National Health Insurance:
    Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Seychelles, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, U.K.

    January 18, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. Marcus

    Man... Ok... so because WHATEVER that people like and WHATEVER don't like about the bill won't gonna be in discussion, just the REPEAL EVERYTHING mantra of the GOP, then it's better to do it, repeal everything even the parts people agrees with?
    What's this, the land of the conformists?

    January 18, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  22. T'sah from Virginia

    LMAO because half of the American people FORGOT how the RepubliCAN’Ts got to this place!!!

    FIRST RepubliCAN’Ts refused to be “Bipartisan”
    The RepulicCAN’T’s CHANT was “Hell No We Can’t”
    Then they HOLLERED let’s “Start it OVER!”
    Dang, they must have been listening to Karl ROVER!

    Then they shouted “Repeal and Replace!!”
    That thought immediately got ERASED!
    Now – “Health Care – Get rid of it ALL!”
    Following that notion they would surely FALL!

    What’s left for RepubliCAN’Ts – where would they GO??!
    Especially if Obama follows advice from the CBO!
    The RepubliCAN’Ts have NOTHING left on the SHELVES!!!
    HELL – that makes it EASY – President Obama two thousand and TWELVE!!!
    (We would NOT even need Sarah to run…….LMAO)

    The RepubliCAN’Ts know damn well that they agree with MOST of the bill. They just want to continue to be “HEAD STRONG and DEAD WRONG” because they SHOUTED so loud about it and don’t know how to “BACKTRACK” – SSssttt (sucking my teeth) – Bring it On!!

    January 18, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  23. Moon

    Repeal the healthcare pig. We want to see how Democrats representatives in conservative regions vote. It will be instructive on how to proceed and fodder for future elections especially when people realize the fiscal irresponsability of Obamacare. Either way time is not going to be kind to Obamacare.

    January 18, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. Guest

    What in there should they repeal?

    The individual mandate for one. The government doesn't have the authority to force one private entity into a contract with another one under threat of a fine. Skip the tired comparison to car insurance. No one makes you drive. This is about forcing young, healthy people to subsidize the treatment of older generations who consume vastly more health care resources.

    January 18, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. Mark

    About 20% of Obamcare should be kept but again these are the things that could have passed with moderates as well the first time.

    January 18, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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