CNN Poll: Support rises for health insurance mandate
November 14th, 2011
10:16 AM ET
2 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. Damie

    I have used alternative medicine all of my life and the idea that I should be FORCED to give my money to a bunch of insurance THUGS for services that I will NEVER use is unconscionable. This ridiculous law means that Americans are not free to make their own healthcare choices. By the time we get done forking over our money to the crooks, we won't have any left to pay for worthwhile alternative treatment from naturopaths, homeopaths, acupuncturists, etc.

    November 14, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  2. Abnguy

    Joe from Ohio... Check your history. It was the Democrats who opposed freeing the slaves and the Republicans who freed the slaves and crafted the civil rights legislation. In fact the only point you were correct on was the "gays" comment. Look to your own Democrat party to blame for slavery.

    November 14, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. Pete

    I find it strange that the Republicans are taking the side of freeloaders and illegals just to score some political points. Of course people should have to carry health insurance. We don't turn people away to die because we're not monsters, and we don't make them pay for their care because we're morons. Well guess what? Someone tried to do something about it, make the freeloaders pay, and the Republicans are too about scoring points to stand back and say "nice job".

    November 14, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. Frank

    I got to laugh at the outright ignorance of people actually thinking that this mandate does not benefit big corps, especially those in the insurance and medical industry. Hello! Requiring people to do business with a corporation benefits corporations! Having health insurance that pays for care, benefits health care corporations like big pharma, hospital chains, diagnostic chains, etc. Big business couldn't have drafted a more perfect law. Anyhow, my guess is that the mandate stands since its clear it will benefit a lot of big businesses in the health care industry.

    November 14, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. Jordan

    Even Hayek: the godfather of modern economic libertarianism and the alter at which folks like Ron Paul worship, said that no health insurance market could function efficiently without an individual mandate. That's pretty much like a Rabbi endorsing bacon, and tells you how crucial the individual mandate is.

    November 14, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  6. Michael

    Here is what will happen with mandated insurance: The greedy insurance companies will deny you coverage for any excuse they can think of. Then, you will be forced to buy through the exchange, probably from the same insurance company, at 5 times the cost. This is a handout to the insurance companies. Just say NO to mandated insurance.

    November 14, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  7. mfhpr

    With hospitals reporting losses of $40B-$60B per year on services rendered to those without insurance, I stand behind this notion that people should either be required to have health insurance or carry a bond that would back them in these instances.

    November 14, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    If 39% of the uninformed people would watch real television news, and not Fox, they would see that Affordable Health Care is beneficial to all of us.

    November 14, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  9. CincyIndep

    The trend is that fewer Americans are buying insurance because it's too expensive. Which means fewer of us are paying more for their healthcare. Eventually, fewer of us can afford it and so an increasingly smaller number of people will be paying for the healthcare of others. But if EVERYONE paid for it, then the cost would come down so that it would be affordable by all. I don't know if it's constitutional, but damn that's a good idea to me. Has anyone got a better way? Price fixing? Also, this isn't 'government-run' btw. It's still privately owned and run.

    November 14, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. rapierpoint

    I wonder how they reconcile the results of this poll with the voting results from Tuesday where it was on the ballot?

    November 14, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  11. jrcnnjr

    If the U.S is going to take the position that we ARE going to let U.S. citizens die if they need medical treatment and don’t contribute premiums to insurance costs, then don’t mandate healthcare. However, if the U.S. is going to take the position that we ARE NOT going to let U.S. citizens die if they need medical treatment and don’t contribute premiums to insurance costs, then healthcare should be required and MANDATED for all, because NONE of us know when we may need medical treatment. If you expect to get the medical treatment, EVERYONE should be required to contribute to the costs associated with healthcare.

    November 14, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  12. ireuel

    OK you 52 Percent take the Obama Scare, I will stay with my Health Insurance. Simple.

    November 14, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  13. Liz the First

    For all those griping that gov't can't or shouldn't be able to force you to buy anything, i have two words: CAR INSURANCE! no responsible adult wants to be without insurance. the individual mandate is a good thing and a good first step. maybe when we get the rethug dinosaurs out of congress, we can have true universal health care and actually join the civilized world in caring for our citizens. a healty country is a prosperous country.

    November 14, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  14. MICKEYD

    FINE! If you don't want to be made to pay for your insurance then you will pay another way! It doesn't matter! The county hospital is still supplying free health care to illegal immigrants in you state! If you are not required to have insurance then you will still pay for these people to get health care! Yeah go ahead and appeal the law if that suits you, BUT IN THE END YOU WILL STILL PAY!

    November 14, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  15. Not All Docs Play Golf

    There absolutely has to be a mandate for this to work. People without insurance end up costing all of us, and any plan to try to help cover more uninsured people won't work if there is no mandate that everyone plays in the game. That has been explained, but the politics blinds people to the reality. I'm sick of people like Bachmann refer to it as a government takeover of health care. The reforem bill is certainly not that, and relies on the market. It doesn't even have a public option.

    November 14, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  16. I'm for the mandate!

    If you have a car, you have to have it insured. If you have a body, you should have it insured, too. We are paying for all those who don't take responsibility by getting health insurance and then expect others to cover their healthcare costs when they are sick or injured.

    November 14, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. Mary Jo

    It is against the law to drive without car insurance. Yet, not everyone has health insurance. I've always marveled at the fact that we care more about our cars than we do our bodies.

    November 14, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  18. William

    I'm a retired medical professional, and anyone on this site is mistaken if they think that we do not, or have not had government health insurance for years. Federal, military, and state workers all have government controlled insurance. The same holds true for medicare and medicaid coverage, so that does not leave many people left who actually pay for and have a choice as to where they buy coverage and how much they pay for that coverage. If people now think they have a choice in private coverage. they are few and far between. Just try to buy health insurance from anyone listed in the phone book and see how much it cost. You cannot afford private insurance where you have a choice of the insurance company and the price that you pay for coverage. It is an impossible situation which the posters here who "oppose government sponsored insurance" are supporting a position that is impossible to defend.

    November 14, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  19. judith

    Of course we need a health care mandate–it's a no brainer, but the Corporate GOP has spun this issue endlessly. Why? Because they are in the pocket of the for-profit health care and drug industry. Eventually, Americans will wake up and demand universal public health care. With the aging booming population, it's the only way to get costs down and get everyone covered.

    November 14, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  20. Wilson James

    The activist right wing Roberts court decides to hear the case during the high point of the 2012 elections. Wow. Conservatives in this country are the worst of us.

    November 14, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  21. Mike

    Guess what, liberals? When your doctor's office says they can't get you in for 3 months due to all the newly insured, will you cry then? I'm hoping you do.

    November 14, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  22. drewood27

    @Frank

    Apparently you aren't familiar with other parts of the law. Like the ones that require insurance corporations to spend 80% of their income from premiums on actual CARE instead of giving BONUSES to their CEOs.

    Or the ones that require insurance companies to accept ALL applicants, regardless of existing conditions, which is hardly a boon for insurance companies, since those patients cost more to cover.

    The mandate levels the playing field for the patient. No longer will the responsible people who buy health insurance be forced to pay higher premiums to cover the uninsured who use the emergency room for all their medical needs, and pass the buck onto the rest of us.

    November 14, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  23. mamivaqui

    why is it that quality of life is so superior in other industrialized countries, and america's health care is a royal mess? when are you guys joining the rest in the 21st century?

    November 14, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  24. RCM

    Comments are very interesting here about buying your own insurance. I'm sure that the people that say that either depend upon the company they work for or have a great deal of money to pay the Health Insurance monthly bill. But if you are poor or over 49 years old the cost or even the availability of Health Insurance is not close at hand.

    Don't believe it, then go out to the market place and try and get Health Insurance yourself!

    November 14, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  25. Sanity

    It doesn't matter how many people support or oppose ObamaCare. It only matter whether or not it is constitutional. A lot of polls have also shown that a huge number of people thin k that other people should pay more taxes.

    November 14, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
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