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. shoes

    We are already paying for healthcare for those who don't have health insurance, but go to the emergency room instead. Healthcare costs are out of hand we desperately need this mandate. It's nice to smug and brag about your insurance, but if you lost your job, then what would you and your family do? I'm blessed to have my job & insurance, but sometimes you have to look outside your security net and think of others!

    November 14, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  2. 353 day until no more Obama

    Polls; a waste of time; any Republican candidate will easily beat Obama in 2012 and Obamacare will be repealed. I’m guessing that’s a fact that the voters in Virginia new but the pollsters’ missed. In 2008; Obama was the first Democrat to win Virginia since 1964. In 2011 every Republican incumbent in the Virginia state House and Senate won; only the second time since the Civil War. 353 days from now the American voters will clean up Washington based on Obama and the Democrats record in Congress since 2007.

    November 14, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  3. da

    So funny but I thought the GOP was about making sure folk paid for what they used and not be a freeloading off the system like it was welfare or something.
    When will folks who support that party finally see the People they have elected are not out to help them but help the big Corporations!!!

    November 14, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  4. chill

    Maybe the message is getting through that the rest of us are paying for the uninsured through expensive ER visits. Whether the uninsured simply can't afford coverage or are simply deadbeats or young "invulnerables", let's cover the cost in the most efficient way possible rather than encouraging people to gamble that they won't get sick or injured. Good that the Court is going to resolve this, but I'm afraid of those activist justices like Alito and Roberts.

    November 14, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. Jack Be Humble

    I think the guy who yelled "YEAH!" when Ron Paul was asked if we take the uninsured guy in a coma off of life support has given a lot of people pause for thought. The way it works now is that the uninsured are treated at county hospitals that get funding support from state and federal funds... So if they can't pay their bills, the taxpayer foots the bill. This law cuts costs in a lot of ways; that alone should gain the support of a LOT of Americans.

    November 14, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  6. MiketheElectrician

    The GOP is so far behind the times it boggles the mind.

    November 14, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  7. John

    How many times do we have to hear the tag line "for those who don't want to work'? With unemployment or under-employment affecting millions of people now, the question is ridiculous. The idea that each of us has a vital stake in the common good is apparently a foreign concept for the questioner. The way insurance works must be a mystery to such questioners. The fact that good health is crucial the prosperity of nation must not be obvious. The idea that a fundamental purpose of government is to do what individuals cannot easily do for themselves must be strange to such questioners. And so they conclude that the President is an idiot. Really?

    November 14, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. reACTIONary

    RE: don't want to pay for someone else's insurance...

    By requireing insurance we lower the cost of insureance over-all and eliminate the need to directly subsidize emergency room visits by the uninsured. Over all, it is cheaper to subsidize someone else's health insurance than it is to subsidize someone else's poor health.

    November 14, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  9. Jimbo

    If the "Will of the people" forces you to buy a Chevy Volt, then will you understand? The Bill of Rights was intended to prevent the mob from violating the rights of the minority.

    The individual mandate is brought to you by the same folks who want govt. to solve all of life's problems.

    November 14, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  10. Larry L

    This is math. No health insurance pool can survive without dollars from the healthy. No auto insurance pool could survive without dollars from people who don't have accidents.

    Can anybody name a nation with a first-class health care system that doesn't have the system regulated by their government? The free market can never totally work in health care because profits will always be chosen above quality of care. I'd recommend:
    1. Tort reform related to "best practices" medical regimen.
    2. Significant tax breaks for healthcare providers accepting Medicare, Medicare, and Tricare.
    3. More government-sponsored medical schools to provide free education in return for services.
    4. Tax exemptions for all medical insurance expenditures.
    5. Significant penalties for insurance premiums for people who smoke, who are obese, or who choose clearly unhealthy life-styles.

    November 14, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  11. mcwreiole

    Dear FDA; Having to buy auto insurance is a choice. Needing to drive is not a necessity, so if a person does not want to buy auto insurance, they don't drive and use public transportation instead. Medical care, when you are sick, is not a choice, it is a necessity and therefore this madate poops all over the Constitution of The United States, you remember, the one that Barak Obama swore on a Bible to uphold and protect!

    November 14, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  12. ThinkAgain

    "What the poll doesn't report on is that 67% don't want to pay for someone else's insurance via subsidies."

    Through higher premiums, we all currently subsidize the uninsured and under-insured who get health care at the emergency room. All of us who don't smoke or drink, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight, all subsidizes those who suffer health problems because of their life styles. To think otherwise is naive.

    November 14, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  13. SeanNJ

    @Mark: You asked, "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?"

    Ok, let's make a deal. We force you to purchase health insurance and you promise not to be mad when they turn you away at a doctor's office or hospital because you can't afford to pay the bill out of pocket.

    You don't get to have it both ways.

    November 14, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  14. Jimbo

    As for "freeloading", let every childless retiree receive a greatly reduced Social Security benefit. Why should my children be paying for your retirement? You say that you paid into it and you deserve it? That money was spent. Get over it.

    November 14, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  15. Publius Novus

    Republicans do not support health care for the masses because their constituency–the 1%–do not need health insurance. The 1% own the healthcare industry or could buy it if they chose to.

    November 14, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  16. Kent

    We will eventually have public healthcare. LIke defense, roads and other important infrastructures, it is too important to trust to a greedy for profit system. It's too much for simple minded businessmen to deliver.

    November 14, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  17. diridi

    SUPREME COURT.... We need this Reform in America....It is long over due...neglected by Republican Thugs....go for it...SC...Care for America....god bless...

    November 14, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  18. Bob

    As a 100% combat disabled vet who receives healthcare via the Veterans Administration, I can say that you want nothing to do wit a US Government Healthcare system run by a US Government. Hell, I can'teven see a VA doctor when I need one, and have to wait in line behind 100's of other vets with 0% disability! The VA has lost my records three times, and there is absolutely no accountability or anyone you can complain to! At least with a civilian doctor you can go elsewhere...

    November 14, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  19. Bob

    BTW, this CNN survey was taken at an Occupy Wall Street camp site...

    November 14, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  20. Rick McDaniel

    ObamaCare will bankrupt America. There is NO question about that, whatsoever.

    November 14, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  21. Dan, TX

    I think Doctors should check to see if the patient can pay first. If they can't, they should be allowed not to treat, even if that means the death of the patient. It is the only way to keep health care costs low for the responsible people who have health insurance. Like the republicans cheered at the debate, let them die if they can't afford insurance.

    November 14, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  22. Michael

    Those idealists thinking it would be great to have this mandate are not thinking of the practical problems. Here is what will happen: The insurance companies will use any excuse they can (as they did with my wife) to deny coverage. Then you will be forced to buy from the health exchange – probably from the same insurance company – at 5 times the cost!
    This mandate is a huge handout to the insurance companies you idiots!!!
    What we need is more competition in insurance companies. A mandate to buy from the one approved company in your state is not competition.
    We also need higher deductibles or copays to get people to not abuse the system. They have to keep some skin in the game.
    And, we need tort reform or allow you to opt out of procedures more easily so when you take someone to the emergency room with a minor cut they don't try to use every ct scan and heart monitoring piece of equipment in the hospital to rack up the costs to $5000.

    November 14, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  23. Al-NY,NY

    You can bet the Health Insurance shills (aka the GOP candidates) will be crowing about this. FALSE FALSE they say. Most people do NOT approve! Why? Because we say so.

    November 14, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  24. Tell it like it really CNN

    A survey conveniently taken among sympathizers I'll wager.

    November 14, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  25. FM

    Food and health go together. If one can think of buying food whats wrong thinking buying own health insurance. We must be thankful, the government is taking care of its people by enforcing that everyone must have both.

    November 14, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
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