Poll gives both sides ammunition in health care battle
September 30th, 2013
12:24 PM ET
10 months ago

Poll gives both sides ammunition in health care battle

Washington (CNN) - Do Americans support or oppose the health care law?

As the clock ticks towards a federal government shutdown over Republican attempts to weaken or eliminate the Affordable Care Act, that question is front and center in the standoff.

Democrats and Republicans say they have public opinion on their side when it comes to the measure - also known as Obamacare - and a new CNN national poll seems to give both sides some ammunition.

According to a CNN/ORC International survey released Monday morning, 57% of Americans say they oppose the law, up three percentage points from a CNN survey in May, with 38% saying they favor the measure, down five points from May.

That's the number Republicans will highlight.

"It is time for the Senate to listen to the American people just as the House has listened to the American people and to pass a one year delay of Obamacare and a permanent repeal of the medical device tax," said House Speaker John Boehner Monday morning.

But it's not the whole story.

Supporters of the law will point to a second number in the survey: 39% of all Americans oppose the health care law because it's too liberal, with 11% of the public saying they oppose the measure because it isn't liberal enough. Add that 11% to the 38% who say they favor the law and that means that about half the public supports the law or don't think it goes far enough.

"It's sometimes difficult to remember, but at the start of the health care debate in 2009, many Democrats wanted nothing less than a single-payer system and were extremely disappointed when that approach was not part of the new law. That disappointment seems to have persisted among some groups," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

CNN/ORC has been asking the "support/oppose" question and the "too liberal/not liberal enough" breakdown since March 2010, before the bill was passed by a then Democrat controlled Congress and signed into law by Obama.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International September 27-29, with 803 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.


Filed under: Congress • Democrats • Health care • Republicans
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. just asking

    are they polling the millions of illegal aliens that will get free healthcare with obamacare??? i'm sure approval rating is 100% in that demographic.

    so if obamacare was supposed to require everybody to get insurance, why is the cbo saying that 20-30 million people still won't have healthcare insurance? all these people will still be going to the hospitals so just what problem did obamacare solve? nothing! and all at the expense of everybody else that was happy with the healthcare system and what they had.

    just remember america, come 2014, which party it was that wrecked our healthcare system.

    September 30, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    It doesn't matter who supports the law or not. It is the law and yet another beneficial phase of it will go into effect tomorrow.
    There is NO battle over Obamacare.
    The battle was fought and won by liberals and progressives.
    Obamacare: IT IS THE LAW.

    September 30, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. tiffinS

    Let Oblundercare pass in all of it's misguided glory and wait for 2014 to flush out the rest of the Senate majority garbage...

    September 30, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    just asking

    are they polling the millions of illegal aliens that will get free healthcare with obamacare??? i'm sure approval rating is 100% in that demographic.

    so if obamacare was supposed to require everybody to get insurance, why is the cbo saying that 20-30 million people still won't have healthcare insurance?
    --------------------–
    More than likely that 20-30 millino people are individuals who do not file federal income taxes every year.

    September 30, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. Wilson

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    It doesn't matter who supports the law or not. It is the law and yet another beneficial phase of it will go into effect tomorrow.
    There is NO battle over Obamacare.
    The battle was fought and won by liberals and progressives.
    Obamacare: IT IS THE LAW.
    ---------
    So was DOMA. Laws can be changed.
    $

    September 30, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  6. Just clarifying

    I am amazed at the calculation of adding 11% and 38% and coming up with 49%.. There is big assumption that number of supporters of this law will remain same even if it made more liberal which is wrong. Some people from that 38% are supporting primarily Obamacare in the current state or form. I would appreciate if we do the analysis correctly.. Not just play with numbers.

    September 30, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. OK

    so if obamacare was supposed to require everybody to get insurance, why is the cbo saying that 20-30 million people still won't have healthcare insurance?
    ----

    Largely because states like Florida and Texas have refused the Medicaid expansion. It's not the fault of Obamacare, rather the Republican governors that have no problem scewing over the people that need coverage the most to make a political point.

    September 30, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  8. Buck from Texas

    Obama Care is going to kill a lot of seniors.

    September 30, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  9. Fair is Fair

    Just clarifying

    I am amazed at the calculation of adding 11% and 38% and coming up with 49%.. There is big assumption that number of supporters of this law will remain same even if it made more liberal which is wrong. Some people from that 38% are supporting primarily Obamacare in the current state or form. I would appreciate if we do the analysis correctly.. Not just play with numbers
    -----–
    Excellent point.

    September 30, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  10. yeahright

    So was DOMA. Laws can be changed.
    $
    ---

    There are ways to change laws, extortion is not one of them.

    September 30, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
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