CNN Poll: Support rises for health insurance mandate
November 14th, 2011
10:16 AM ET
3 years ago

CNN Poll: Support rises for health insurance mandate

Washington (CNN) - The public is divided over the idea of requiring all Americans to have health insurance, according to a new national survey. But a CNN/ORC International Poll also indicates that support for the proposal, a cornerstone of the 2010 health care reform law, has risen since June.

The survey's Monday release comes as the Supreme Court has agreed to decide the constitutionality of the sweeping health care reform law that was passed by a Democratic Congress and championed by President Barack Obama. The justices made their announcement in a brief order issued on Monday. Oral arguments would likely be held in late February or March, with a ruling by June, assuring the blockbuster issue will become a hot-button political issue in a presidential election year.

According to the poll, 52% of Americans favor mandatory health insurance, up from 44% in June. The survey indicates that 47% oppose the health insurance mandate, down from 54% in early summer.

"The health insurance mandate has gained most support since June among older Americans and among lower-income Americans," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "A majority of independents opposed the measure in June, but 52 percent of them now favor it."

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International Poll from November 11-13, with 1,036 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.


- CNN's Bill Mears and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Health care • President Obama • Supreme Court
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Watch the repubs on the court represent the health care industry over the will of the people.

    November 14, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  2. Pig in a poke

    What the poll does tell you is that 52% of the people think that it should be mandated that people be personally responsible for buying their own health insurance. What the poll doesn't report on is that 67% don't want to pay for someone else's insurance via subsidies.

    November 14, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. TomInRochNY

    Could it be that people are finally waking up to the reality that 30% to 35% administration over head in health insurance is not sustainable? Health should not be a for profit industry.

    November 14, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    "A majority of independents opposed the measure in June, but 52 percent of them now favor it."

    Funny isn't it? When you don't have McConnell, Palin, Boehner, and Cantor scaring the folks with talk of government run "death panels" people start understanding the entire premise surrounding affordable health care.

    November 14, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  5. wanderer

    We are lucky, at least as of the moment, because both my wife and I are employed and our family is covered by medical insurance through our employers. If you look around you will see there are many people who are also employed but don’t have medical insurance because their employers are not required to provide medical insurance. Many of them can’t afford to see a doctor for their sickness and therefore they can’t keep their job due to poor health. It is very narrow-minded to think those who don’t have the medical insurance are lazy. I am independent voter and have long been wishing everyone should have medical insurance. So it is selfish to think the health care form is not needed. The GOP is not happy about the health care reform because it is their failure to secure more profit for the insurance companies.

    November 14, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  6. Dean

    My family and I are already paying for food, housing, education, and medical care for those who don't want to work. Why should we have to pay more? Because an idiot's in the White House?

    November 14, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  7. NYC REPUB

    Can anyone say personal responsibility? Used to be what the GOP preached, but now President Obama is all alone w/ this kind of common sense speak.

    Obama 2012!!!!

    November 14, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. gt

    everyone needs to pay ..or everyone dont... to many free loaders.... also i wonder how many people are screwing the social securty system .. i bet i know dozens who rip it off...

    November 14, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. CA

    Pig In a poke –

    You're missing the point. I don't want to pay for the Iraq war but thats not in the cards for me. Facts is we're ALREADY paying for others insurance through the system. A mandate just makes it more pronounced.

    November 14, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. pchelp, Juneau, AK

    My issue is with how the insurance mandate was implemented, not with the mandate itself. Similar to the requirement for liability insurance there should be a 'pool' for those who are otherwise uninsurable. Unlike liability insurance where those who can't afford the pool can't drive, the medical pool needs to be affordable for everybody-IMO that means the government needs to provide the insurance. Since that's financially unsustainable the only solution I see is for the government to somehow contain medical costs-not require insurance but actually reduce the cost of basic (and catastrophic) medical care. Not option (e.g. most cosmetic surgery) but the basics like vaccinations & emergency care. Since price controls are generally considered unAmerican the solution I see is to expand the network of VA hospitals, utilizing them to provide medical care either to those without insurance or maybe to everybody, with the VA then collecting from the insurers, whether private or pool.

    November 14, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. Mark

    So people favor forcing struggling middle-class families to spend more money? I thought liberals were for the working man? How is making the working family spend more of their dwindling income helping them?

    November 14, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  12. Bob

    According to the poll, 52% of Americans favor mandatory health insurance, up from 44% in June. This is astandard CNN leading question. It says nothing about GOVERNMENT MANDATED AND RUN HEALTHCARE, only insurance!

    November 14, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  13. Keith in Austin

    Did the Pollsters mention to the elderly folks they queried that Obama is gutting Medicare to pay for his mandate to cover the uninsured? (Illegal immigrants and those unwilling to work) Probably not!

    November 14, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. The Real Tom Paine

    Why shouldn't there be more support for a universal mandate? It was a GOP idea, which Obama adopted, so there is no excuse for running from it, except to score cheap political points. BTW gt, what is the premise of your post?

    November 14, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  15. sonny chapman

    Will Clarence & Jenny Thomas recuse themselves on this case ?

    November 14, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  16. Joe from Ohio

    Like ending slavery, or equal rights for women or gays, eventually the GOP comes around. They are usually just about 10 years behind everyone else. Welcome aboard common sensers!

    November 14, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  17. hmmm....

    health insurance and health care are two different issues. Health care saves lifes, health insurance does not. Car insurance- yes, if we wish to drive we must purchase it. Now I bet at the time that was being debated someone lentioned the slippery slope of we allow government to force us to purchase car insurance and I bet those who said so were told they were foolish. Well, this is the slippery slope we are sliding down. Now we will see if our constitution protects us from an overbearing government and/or those who wish to limit our liberty and choice. Slopes never get less slippery...only steeper.

    November 14, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. FDA

    If you don't mandate it, you will pay for the uninsured with higher premiums. So mandate it and make sure everyone pays into the system. The notion that mandated health care is unconstitutional is absurd. The GOP has been selling this to the public for several years now. No fault car insurance is mandated in most states, having and possessing a drivers license is mandated also. The fact is that the insured in this country are paying for everyone that is uninsured with higher premiums. If the 50 something percent continues to fight against mandated health care, they are simply telling the rest of us that they want us to carry their health care cost. SO why wouldn't you want mandated health care! It's math! It's really not that complicated. If you look at the driving force behind the folks fighting this mandated issue, or especially the private option, you will see the biggest health care corporations in America. They do not want competition to drive the cost of health care down, they are making huge amounts of cash with the monopoly they currently have set up. The GOP and Fox news are their biggest cheerleaders. Just look at what the lobbyist have thrown into the GOP candidates bank accounts.

    November 14, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  19. us1776

    The Republican scare tactics and stupid "kill grandma" and "death panel" nonsense is finally wearing off.

    .

    November 14, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  20. Anthony

    I never supported it and still do not.

    November 14, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  21. tedt

    You pay one way or another. If someone goes to the hospital for care and can't afford it you as an individual are still paying in terms of a higher premium to cover the uninsured think about it

    November 14, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  22. ingrid

    Dean–you are also paying for police, education, fire department...not a fan of that either? I really hate hearing people complaining to help pay for all especially as paying for preventive care for example now is far cheaper than emergency care later. I would rather pay for the people in my country than for misguided wars. Also, I like our President way better than any on the crazy train of the right.

    November 14, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  23. PJ

    I don't think it fair if someone elects not to have insurance to expect treatment without payment. Given the cost of healthcare today few can afford to pay. I think the mandate is good. If it doesn't pass then hospitals should demand payment up front for anyone without insurance.

    November 14, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  24. Tim P. Houston,TX

    If its mandated to have car insurance, why should we not have a mandate that requires health insurance. My health is worth more than the car I drive. Just plain old common since.

    November 14, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  25. Greg Gilbert

    Anyone ever hear what deductible of health insurance will be required? Could you get like a $10K annual deductible insurance?

    November 14, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
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