Poll gives both sides ammunition in health care battle
September 30th, 2013
12:24 PM ET
7 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. Anonymous

    And in two years the polls will overwhelmingly support the ACA.

    September 30, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "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."

    Add that 11% to the 38% who say they favor the law and that means that 49% of the public supports the law or don't think it goes far enough, while only 46% oppose it.

    FIFY – But nice try whitewashing that it actually flips the majority of the poll in favor of the Dems/progressives..

    September 30, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    "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."
    ---------------–
    At least you could show some respect for the office by referring to the POTUS as "President Obama."

    September 30, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  4. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "The Lunatic Fringe"

    Land of the brave and home of the "entitlements". Shut it down.

    September 30, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  5. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "The Lunatic Fringe"

    If this were 1941, and the President was Lenin, I would be thrown in prison for speaking against AHCA if it existed then. America 2013 is almost "JUST LIKE THAT".

    September 30, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "If this were 1941, and the President was Lenin, I would be thrown in prison for speaking against AHCA if it existed then. America 2013 is almost "JUST LIKE THAT"."

    Oh? Do tell! Please provide a detailed list of the similarities that make that analogy something other than abject nutjobbery. Ready? GO!

    September 30, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  7. Marcuscassius

    Once again we see the news media manipulating facts for corporations benefit. Teh facts are. The shutdown havs nothing whatsoever to do with paying our debts. that is purely a Republican decision to attach the debt to blackmail the country o getting what they want. fact two, the country has already said we want it. look, I didn't want the Iraq war. It had fake splattered all over it. I was out numbered.So we did the war and we move on. Now we have the ACA. It's vetted to be Constitutional. It's what the majority of Americans want. Live with it and make it better. DO NOT hold the country's economy over a fire so you can protect insurance companies and l;lawyers.

    September 30, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  8. Name

    Why can't the Republicans just quit being cry babies and work to help correct things that need adjusting on the ACA. They hate this President so much that they want to mess up everything for 8 yrs. Just grow up!!!!

    September 30, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  9. ora pike

    only CNN would take a poll and explain it to the public and show why it is not really 57% against obamacare--why didn't you do this with romney's 47% and explain it as those dependent upon government FOR NOT WORKING and those who have worked all their life and now on social security,etc are not part of that 47%--think on these things.

    September 30, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  10. sonny chapman

    The KEY to making Obamacare work is getting young, uninsured folks to buy cheap health insurance. The Repubs., the self proclaimed party of personal responsibility & "Country First", is doing everything that they can to DISCOURAGE young folks from buying some. Ayn Rand is smiling, but Baby Jesus & Santa Clause ain't.

    September 30, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    When you have noted conservatives like Norman Ornstein writing articles with headlines like "Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem," then it becomes a little silly pretending you can continue to play the false equivalence game, don't you think CNN? The GOP/Teatrolls are driving their ideological clown car straight at a brick wall and the MSM is breathlessly reporting on it from the passenger seat in a manner that encourages it.

    September 30, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The GOP will lose the house in 2014 and put an end to this GOP teaparty bafoonery for good!!!!!!

    September 30, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  13. Sophie Meyer

    What "health care battle?" The ACA was deliberated, legitimately passed by the house and the senate, signed by the president and upheld by the supreme court. It is the law of the land. There is no "health care battle." It's a legitimately settled issue.

    September 30, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  14. A Kickin' Donkey

    By labeling the ACA "Obamacare", the haters have guaranteed his immortality. I predict Mr. Obama's face will one day grace a newly issued $1,000 bill. With decades of inflation, prices are much higher than they were when Samuel Pierce & William McKinnelly graced our currency.

    At least 50% of Americans favor Obamacare or don't think it goes far enough, because in addition to the 38% and the 11%, we have some in the 43% who, when asked about the ACA [or their cutsie state label for it] are FOR IT. Republican haters are fearful that in 2 years, when the smoke clears, The majority of those polled will have no choice but to acknowledge the merits of ObamaCare. When Hillary runs in 2016, don"t you think she's going to continue to clear the fog away from those in the 43%. Remember she tried to advance healthcare reform when the Republicans derided that move as HilliaryCare.

    September 30, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. Data Driven

    Healthcare "battle"? Battle's over. Republicans lost.

    Win an election next time, Republicans. Of course, you'll have to convince people that you're right, first.

    September 30, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. Ron -IN

    CNN the next time you poll the question I think you need to add one more VERY IMPORTANT question. Do you currently have Health Care Insurance?? It is very easy to be against something you already have. I am VERY interested in what the results of that poll would be in conjunction with the other two questions.

    September 30, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  17. ED1

    Shut her down we need to bring down the debt Obamacare will just add over a trillion dollars to our debt and it's a crappy bill too.

    If Congress would have just read the bill it should have never would have passed but people like Nancy as most Democrats say just pass the bill so we can see what's in. Bet Nancy has still not read the bill just like most Democrats and Obama.

    Socialism at its best bigger Government and if you don't buy you will be fined sounds like some Country that people don't have choices.

    September 30, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    ora pike

    only CNN would take a poll and explain it to the public and show why it is not really 57% against obamacare–why didn't you do this with romney's 47% and explain it as those dependent upon government FOR NOT WORKING and those who have worked all their life and now on social security,etc are not part of that 47%–think on these things.
    ---------------------------
    Actually, those retired people are part of the 47%. So are many military families. So are the one in four families in this country living at or below the poverty line. If you're so mad about people not paying taxes, then why get upset with all of the people who are not paying taxes. Why don't you also get upset with some of the "corporation people" who don't pay taxes?

    September 30, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  19. the hippies were right

    I gaurantee that 95% of the 57% couldn't list 5 reasons why they don't like the ACA. This "fight" has turned into a joke. So sad how many have a negative opinion about something they know nothing about. I'm losing confidence in the human race, every time I read one of these polls. One year from now when people see the benefits, can't get here soon enough.

    September 30, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  20. Donna

    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.
    --

    Total BS lies and deceit by the left and their media backers. People not liking Obamacare because it isn't single payer are still in the percentage supporting Obamacare. Enough with the smoke and mirror show to try and deflect from the fact that a majority of Americans don't want Obamacare. They never asked for it, never supported it and don't want to risk the entire healthcare system on some 2,400 bill nobody read, that spawned over 20,000 pages of new rules and regulations and that we are now finding out is a total disaster.

    At this point, anybody supporting Obamacare should receive high priority admission to the nearest psych unit.

    September 30, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  21. Minnie Mouse

    Could you just please do your job with out attaching a law that was passed in 2010. The "Affordable Care Act" has already been helping thousands plus of people and will now be helping millions.

    If you want to attach something, then write your enormous list for the entire public to see where you are wasting our tax dollars. This is something that we need to see and something that as a government, you need to stop doing.

    Your not going to defund, delay, repeal or replace the "Affordable Care Act". That is all you all have been doing for the past 2 to 3 years and now still ongoing. It's so immature. If someone is told no as an adult, then we understand that no means no. It's different if you all were children and you would be needed to be told the same thing over and over again numerous times until it finally sinks in but you are the adults here. As adults, no means no!

    If the government is shut down, in my eyes you will all be to blame. The reason why you will all be to blame is because it took everyone to bring you into office. It doesn't matter what state you represent, or what position you hold because you will all need to be accountable for not doing the responsible thing like keeping our government running and finding a way to come united together in your decisions.

    There are military families away from their kids and spouses, who depend on this income while they are at home struggling when the other is off on duty taking care of our country. The least thing we can do is show support for all of these families by not cutting them off from his or her pay.

    Since you are all elected into office, you could also show support and respect to the American public that you care about the people and the country in it's entirety.

    Health care is an important subject but it's now part of what it takes to keep our government open. This discussion should flat out be ended after October 1, 2013 because all votes have been denied over 40 times. Start a new discussion that opens for change and that you know you can actually do something about because it's not the "Affordable Care Act".

    You have options and you all have the power and need to do the right thing for the people in our country. If it wasn't for the people, you all would not be in the job positions that you are holding today. There is no job security anywhere and this would also include the government elected officials. You may be elected once but no guarantee that you will be elected again.

    Think about what will happen to the people and the country in it's entirety if it's worth it to have the government shut down? What are the costs going to be, and who is it going to effect??

    September 30, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  22. Name

    When majority was against guy did Republicans support it or immigration..they are now fighting health care we need

    September 30, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Donna wrote:

    Total BS lies and deceit by the left and their media backers. People not liking Obamacare because it isn't single payer are still in the percentage supporting Obamacare. Enough with the smoke and mirror show to try and deflect from the fact that a majority of Americans don't want Obamacare. They never asked for it, never supported it and don't want to risk the entire healthcare system on some 2,400 bill nobody read, that spawned over 20,000 pages of new rules and regulations and that we are now finding out is a total disaster.

    At this point, anybody supporting Obamacare should receive high priority admission to the nearest psych unit.
    ---------------------
    The Tea Party fears the ACA going into action because they know that their worst lies will be debunked, and that they will be exposed as complete frauds. Case in point: "death panels". The right wing would have you believe that a panel that they point to within the law is a "death panel" that will make life and death health care decisions for every person in America.

    The right wing has convinced people that a 24-member panel will make millions and millions of life threatening, critical health care decisions on a daily basis. Yeah, right. What a whopper of lie that is. The panel is more like a Citizens Review Board for a police department. They hold no power, whatsover. They look at individual cases to see if the law is working, and then reports their finidings and recommendations directly to the Congress.

    As far as not knowing what was in the law goes, Republicans knew what was in the law. They had participating members in the committees that wrote the laws. Somehow they knew all about all of the horrors within the law before they even voted on it. And if they didn't know what was in the law, then they were irresponsible to not find out. It was headline news for months and months before a vote was taken.

    September 30, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  24. Hector Slagg

    ACA only one problem. All the big Social Programs running/are out of money. All you people/peasants are going to suffer if you continue to put the Government in charge of your life.The Country is nearly 17 Trillion Dollars in debt. All that Red Ink is still there. The Liberal Politician's will all be dead when the money run's out. The Government will just say, we're sorry but there is no more money.

    September 30, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  25. OK

    the hippies were right

    I gaurantee that 95% of the 57% couldn't list 5 reasons why they don't like the ACA. This "fight" has turned into a joke
    ------

    Exactly... or the reasons that they give for opposing it are based on incorrect information and lies. It was also very enlightening to see the difference in the disapproval rating when people were asked if they were in favor of the Affordable Care Act versus Obamacare. A CNBC poll has a 9% higher disapproval rating for Obamacare. Fox got similar results. What does that tell you?

    September 30, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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