CNN Poll: Time doesn't change views on health care law
March 23rd, 2011
05:30 AM ET
4 years ago

CNN Poll: Time doesn't change views on health care law

(CNN) – One year after President Barack Obama signed the health care reform bill into law, a new national poll indicates that attitudes toward the plan have not budged.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday, on the one year anniversary of the signing of the law, a majority continue to oppose the measure, but some of the opposition is from Americans who think the law is not liberal enough.

Thirty-seven percent of Americans support the measure, with 59 percent opposed. That's basically unchanged from last March, when 39 percent supported the law and 59 percent opposed the measure.

"It's worth remembering that opposition to the bill came from both the left and the right last year, and that has not changed either," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "In 2010, about a quarter of the health care bill's opponents disliked the bill because it was not liberal enough - the same as today. That works out to 13 percent of all Americans who oppose the bill because it did not go far enough. Forty-three percent oppose it because it was too liberal."

The passage of health care reform was seen as the signature domestic achievement of the president's first two years in office. The law was a major issue in the midterm elections and with many Republicans continuing to push to either repeal or defund the plan, health care will most likely remain a very important issue in the 2012 election.

There are two ways to look at the poll's overall numbers. One is that 59 percent oppose the law. The second is that if you add the 13 percent who oppose the law because it's not liberal enough to the 37 percent that support the law, you come up with 50 percent of the American people who disagree with the Republican leadership on the issue. The GOP gained control of the House and many state houses and legislatures in the November election on the basis, many experts said, of their strong opposition to what they said was "government controlled health care."

In what was seen as a largely symbolic move, the GOP controlled House voted earlier this year to repeal the law. At the same time, a number of legal cases that aim to overturn the measure are advancing through the federal court system.

With all this in mind, the poll continues to indicate a partisan divide, but also a gender gap among people who oppose the health care law.

"Men and women dislike the new health care law in equal measure, but not necessarily for the same reasons," Holland says. "Nearly all men who oppose the law do so because it is too liberal. But a third of the women who dislike the law feel that way because it is not liberal enough."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey was conducted March 18-20, with 1,012 people questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Two other polls released in the past week, by Gallup and Kaiser Family Foundation, also indicate that Americans are divided over the health care law.

CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: CNN poll • Health care • Polls
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. obama retoric

    signed it, NO rib and tater obamas shoved it down our throats and now we are gagging on it, stop the retoric, stop obama and do something.

    March 23, 2011 05:38 am at 5:38 am |
  2. Peter E

    37 support, 59 percent oppose... And about 99% unable to name more than 2 provisions in the actual bill. Ignorance is bliss!

    March 23, 2011 05:49 am at 5:49 am |
  3. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Yes, I too support the... republican alternative proposal... Oh wait, there is no alternative! The 3 pages of 'alternative' health care law from the GOP were 80% stolen from Obama's health care law.
    It pays to read what the law says and what the GOP touts as an 'alternative.' Basically the GOP is just jealous they didn't get credit for much of the stuff in the bill, so now they want to repeal the whole thing, then re-market it as if they wrote it.
    Oh, and of course, there is that 20% of their alternative bill that says 'tax cuts for the rich and more money to our corporate sponsors.' THAT's the difference.

    March 23, 2011 05:53 am at 5:53 am |
  4. LisaLV

    I'm hard pressed to believe people don't want healthcare. That's the bottom line. Instead if CNN touting Republican Talking Points, how about holding the Republicans accountable for creating the jobs the promised for the past two years?

    March 23, 2011 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  5. Chris

    So where are all the Death Panels? Where is the widespread economic ruin? Where is the oppressive, nanny state that controls our every move? Where is the complete government take over of industry? In short, where all the horrible scenarios that the doomsayers said were absolutely certain would happen if HCR was passed? It's been a year now, and there isn't even a hint of them happening.

    March 23, 2011 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  6. T'sah from Virginia

    It's a THIN LINE – between LOVE and HATE and as long as you have polls that know how to divide it by the way they ask questions – it'll always be divided!!! The Health Care Reform bill to me is "invisible" – not personally affecting me – therefore, why would I judge it???

    Most Americans are easily persuaded when they constantly hear from the RIGHT or LEFT that a bill is going to be REPEALED and/or REPLACED or is NOT good enough – even though it does not affect them personally!!!

    Go with the FLOW and if the FLOW is going – Go with it!!! The SAME that is happening now regarding Libya – 70% agree but the NEGATIVE that is out there coming from the RIGHT – even though they agree also – will change the way Americans think!!! We have DIFFERENT views but we are NOT united!!!

    March 23, 2011 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  7. TomInRochNY

    Too liberal?!?!? Not letting insurance companies drop you when you get sick. Not letting insurance companies deny you for pre-existing conditions. Not letting insurance companies limit life time payouts when you are paying your premiums. Those things are too liberal? Greed Over People.

    March 23, 2011 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  8. Scott T

    Before ObamaCare was signed into law, my family had a $25 copay which was affordable. After ObamaCare went into law where Government forced our insurance companies to insure 30 million damaged goods people, our $25 copay disappeared and was replaced with a $3,000 deductible that resets every Jan 1. So far, we are already on our second $3,000 deductible and it feels like not even having insurance anymore. Socialists ruin everything.

    March 23, 2011 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  9. NameKristi

    With pre-existing conditions, I can't get insurance any other way.

    March 23, 2011 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  10. Indy

    Afghanistan*, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iraq*, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Ukraine and the United Kingdom

    The good old USA is at the bottom of the list when it comes to healthcare.All of the above countries can't understand why Americans don't want affordable healthcare.The Republicans will do everything they can to wipe out the middle class and keeping Americans on the bottom for education and healthcare will surely get them their goal. All of the above countries have universal healthcare and laugh at the US system

    March 23, 2011 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  11. Right Leaning Independent

    This poll is absolutely wrong!! Just ask any Liberal and they will tell you that the majority of Americans support it!!

    March 23, 2011 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  12. Squigman

    Time, is not the part of the equation that's going to change anything, truth will be the determining factor, and not fear mongering by various news organization(s). When the masses are given facts, facts that can be backed up by data the truth will unfold and good sound judgements can be, and will be made. Why are the politicians afraid of the truth? Why have the people been force fed headlines that are driven by emotions, as opposed to fact? Facts are knowledge. There's nothing wrong with knowledge.

    March 23, 2011 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  13. Marie MD

    A lot of the older folks who have better Medicare coverage have been too busy driving around in their expensive RVs so they haven't had time to ralize that the healthcare reform helps them. Families with kids still at home or in college are also affected in a good way.

    March 23, 2011 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  14. mike

    the problem isn't the healthcare bill but the fact is no one knows really knows much about it and for that reason alone the american public is not in favor of it why should we pay for the uninsured that walk in to a hospital for treatment and we do pay for it either with our taxes or thru our health insurance rates and that is a fact hospital cannot work for free and I don't think anyone wants them to except for the insurance companies

    March 23, 2011 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  15. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared war on YOU!

    As usual, the propagandists in the so-called "liberal" media refuse to break out their surveys to distinguish between those who oppose all health care reform from those who think the ACA simply doesn't go far enough on things like single payer or the public option.

    March 23, 2011 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  16. Name king

    When the insurance companies are forced tomput 85 percent of what they are getting in through premiums into health care and every one have to pitch in to pay for healthcare, how the hell that won't bring premiums down, get more people insured, get more people hired through health care workers and the private companies that supports them. all these other crap that the repugs are pushing to these paranoid Americans who have reservations to any changes made for the better, is ludacris.

    March 23, 2011 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  17. Peter s

    Hmmm !!!"Time doesn't change views on health care law"
    How do you expect time to change views after morons like you were busy reporting about death panels?. Just change your names to Journalism in the toilet.com Pathetic!!

    March 23, 2011 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  18. Neo Con

    This is no surprise. Even liberals understand that the law is poorly designed, was poorly and illegally passed with bribes and kickbacks, and spends trillions of dollars to support those who drink, do drugs and have countless children out of wedlock when the nation is bankrupt. Sure the law has some good provisions to protect children and those who cannot help themselves (disabled, etc.) but otherwise it’s all garbage that WILL be eventually repealed. It’s only a matter of time.

    March 23, 2011 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  19. Babs

    I believe the way the poll results is rendered here is somewhat misleading. In truth, majority is on the side of the bill. It's just that 13% don't think the bill is going far enough. My take away is that majority of folks feel closer to the bill than the status quo.

    March 23, 2011 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  20. diridi

    add "Public Option" proviso.....

    March 23, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  21. Abe

    All those people who are close minded and opportunists think so shallow and forget that the average American needs an equitable health coverage. We have our elected officials who at the expense of the voters who put them there who get top notch medical treatment. If you can tell me there is no discrimination you must be blind not see it and deaf not to hear it. So lets not fool ourselves, sound ignorant not to see what the GOP's intentions are. Here we are concerned about political liberation around the world, meddle in others countries political sentiments were we are spending billions of dollars to keep our political might functioning. So I would like to tell all the elected officials is to go in there neighborhood and see how many people that voted for them have no healthy coverage or cannot afford to buy a health coverage or will never enjoy the same treatment as they do. I will like to be a politician but I am too pro people and cannot stand the idea to have a country like ours that has a hard time to embrace a health care program that the rest of the industrial countries enjoys. They call it socialized medicine but if people can define what social means , it simply means we all deserve the same. People are people, we all were created equally, we all love our country, protect it an I do not see any reason why we cannot keep our needy people/ families healthy and stop these stupidity and who cares who likes or not. God Bless our country.

    March 23, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  22. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I like the ideas of not allowing companies to discriminate based on medical conditions. The concern that people have over the requirement to have insurance is somewhat legitmate. With children, I am glad that I will have them covered until the age of 26. The major part that I wish had been included is that there be expanded support (loans and grants) for more medical professionals. Without that, we are sunk. We don't need more lawyers; we need more doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to service an ever growing population.

    March 23, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  23. clay

    I don,t know how you find 57% of people in this country to deny Health Care for poor children? If there,s that many cruel people in this country,I need to move???? Lets make the insurance companies take double of what they Rob us for,every day!! Great Concept? Real Smart???

    March 23, 2011 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  24. Renny

    They need to get rid of this albatross before it sinks the country any further. Then work on actual beneficial changes to the health care system.

    March 23, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  25. kyle

    I'm still waiting for the GOP to come up with a plan to replace healthcare reform, I guess when you are in the Insurance Industries back pocket you don't have a plan.

    March 23, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
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