May 11th, 2014
09:00 AM ET
3 months ago

CNN Poll: Should Obamacare be kept or repealed?

Washington (CNN) - A majority of Americans want to keep the federal health care law as is, or make some changes to improve it, according to a new national poll.

But a CNN/ORC International survey released Sunday also indicates public attitudes have been largely unaffected by news that 8 million people have enrolled in health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

Read the full CNN/ORC International results

Despite a victory lap by the White House following the release of that number, only 12% of Americans surveyed consider the law a success. Nearly half say it’s too soon to tell, and just under four in 10 consider it a failure.

According to the poll, 61% want Congress to leave the Affordable Care Act alone (12%) or make some changes to the law in an attempt to make it work better (49%).

Thirty-eight percent of those questioned say the law should be repealed and replaced with a completely different system (18%) or say the measure should be repealed, with Americans going back to the system in place before the law was implemented (20%).

Two other surveys conducted earlier this year – Kaiser Family Foundation in April and National Public Radio in March – also indicated majority support for keeping and improving the law. Two others, (NBC News/Wall Street Journal in April and ABC News/Washington Post in March), suggested Americans were divided on whether to keep the measure or repeal it.

As expected, there is a wide partisan divide, with nearly nine in 10 Democrats saying the law should be kept as is, or improved. That number drops to 55% among independents and 38% among Republicans. More than six in 10 Republicans want the measure repealed.

"Your feelings about the law are influenced by your station in life," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "There is general support for the law among young people and among people who are approaching retirement age. Support for repeal is higher among people between 35 and 49 years old, and highest among senior citizens, who are roughly split on what Congress should do."

Battle over Obamacare

Opposition to the law, approved in spring 2010 when the Democrats controlled the Senate and the House, was a factor in the Republican wave that November. The GOP took back the House following a historic 63-seat pick up, and trimmed the Democratic majority in the Senate.

The measure was also a major issue in President Barack Obama's 2012 re-election victory over Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Democrats picked up seats in the Senate and House in that election. And the measure is in the spotlight again in this year's midterm elections, as Republicans make their opposition to the law a centerpiece of their campaign.

Last autumn's disastrous roll out of the HealthCare.gov website was a top story for months. Even though things have improved, the poll indicates 47% say the problems facing the new law will not be solved, with 51% optimistic things will eventually be fixed.

The poll was conducted for CNN on May 2-4 by ORC International, with 1,008 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's for questions regarding the Democratic and GOP presidential nominations is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

soundoff (446 Responses)
  1. joe

    12% like it as is. 87% want to change it or get rid of it.

    May 11, 2014 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  2. JC

    So as I read this
    12% what the ACA as it is;
    49% want it changed "in an attempt to make it work better";
    18% want it repealed and replaced with a different system;
    20% want it repealed and want to go back to the previous system.

    I'm not sure how that translates into the headline "Poll: Most favor keeping Obamacare". Sounds to me like 88% want something different....even if that mean attempting to fix the ACA.

    May 11, 2014 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  3. Chuck

    Repeal O B A M A ..........Period!

    May 11, 2014 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  4. edutron

    Socialism works excellent when there is money. You will now ask Spain, Portugal, France how it's going! Besides, buying a policy that does not cover major medical issues and only preventative procedures is an outright PONZI scheme. Physicians are not getting paid and most do not accept this Expensive health care act. 3rd world medical treatment actually gives you better health care – no kidding! You can sign people up all day long on a contract but where will the money come from – they think there policy is FREE! No kidding! Morons..........

    May 11, 2014 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  5. SKEPTICO

    Hard to believe the level of hostility to a law that simply makes it easier for people to get Health Insurance from the PRIVATE SECTOR. Something that the rest of the CIVILIZED world has had for a long time. Yes, it is imperfect – after all it was a REPUBLICAN idea. It should be Medicare for all (with premiums paid – no profit motive), but never mind. Ignorance rules in this country, and we will all PAY FOR IT(well, at least the middle class and the poor).

    May 11, 2014 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  6. Spgfld Tom

    There were a few simple adjustments that needed to be made to private health insurance. In their divine wisdom the Obamanistas threw out "easy" and developed a complex unworkable plan which they pounded down the throats of the American people (with the full effects not to be felt until after the mid-term elections....I wonder why that is?).

    May 11, 2014 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  7. Duey Miller

    If you trust an NPR poll, I got swamp land high atop a mountain for sale.

    May 11, 2014 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  8. teapot dome to teabags

    go republican, repeal good health.

    May 11, 2014 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  9. James

    Proof the Media (at least CNN) is controlled by 'the man' Not a single person I know wants Obamacare. 1/2 the people I know had their deductibles doubled and monthly rates up by at least $200. Keep in mind that anyone on Medicaid HAD to enroll in this disaster. Lets talk about the hidden taxes associated with this as well...

    May 11, 2014 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  10. nail

    Maybe they do===but how many of them are illegals that have medicaid anyway? If the true figures were published by a disinterested pary, they may find that the medicaid peopleare the bulk that got through during the down time and want to make obama look good.

    May 11, 2014 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  11. alfredo gonzales

    to all republicans if you says always you believe in god show you support for the health care law that will save lives of millons people without insurance

    May 11, 2014 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  12. DKh

    How can anyone say this, when much of the law has not been implemented. It's like asking people how they liked a meal, when all they've seen is the appetizer!

    May 11, 2014 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  13. Yeah Right!

    A poll by CNN.......aka Obama's campaign managers! Yeah – THAT'S believable....NOT!

    May 11, 2014 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  14. ron denis

    Big insurance BIg drug companies and the GOP all want to repeal this healthcare plan Because they arent making quite as much money on the backs of the working families as they were under GW, his veto of the bill to allow the US gov to shop for the best prices for drugs, in Canada mostly, was and IS still widely accepted and wanted by most repuglicans... its costing them, themselves more money... hello? any brain cells still functioning u spineless gerbils

    May 11, 2014 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  15. XXXXX

    I disagree with all liberals on principal

    May 11, 2014 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  16. Divad

    The people who make up these polls also choose who they want to ask the questions on polls such as these. You might as well just make up numbers about what the nation thinks if you really aren't going to ask the nation.

    May 11, 2014 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  17. Wade

    How does CNN manage to keep there name as a mews outlet with spreading such obvious lies. There is no such poll except if it is weighted 80% democrats. The reason is because every poll shows 54% against Obamacare and some pols as much as 60 % against it and most do not want it at all. This is just an out right lie from CNN to support Democrats.

    May 11, 2014 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  18. MIke in Texas

    Actually the "Obama Phone" program started under Reagan. It was expanded under GW Bush. Also, the government doesn't even pay for the program. Also, why do Republicans believe what some ignorant lady says when she says Obama Phone but wouldn't believe her on anything else. The other big lie being told on her is that the ACA is government take over of health care. It is not. The government mandates you buy insurance and sets certain guidelines but other than that you buy in the private market and pick and choose who you want to see just you did before the law.

    Remember, the ACA is a Republican idea......so all of you Republicans is your party a socialist party? Since you think that is what the ACA is, or are you against the law because it's Obama signature piece of legislation?

    May 11, 2014 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  19. MIke in Texas

    There are people who even though the law helps them hates it because it's Obama's signature piece of legislation. These people would rather die than to sign up through and exchange because of their hatred of President Obama. The stupidity of some.

    May 11, 2014 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  20. Brian

    Never ceases to amaze me. Every objective statistic regarding the ACA demonstrates that it is working and is achieving its goals (people enrolled by March met, number of uninsured dropping, healthcare cost increases declining), and yet 40% of the country believes it's not working. Truly a testament to the effectiveness of the shameless Republican lies and the Democratic ineptitude at combating them.

    May 11, 2014 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  21. praetorius428

    Hmm... Title of the article makes a rather misleading statement compared to the data that was stated.
    A poll sample of 1008 people is also not really a large enough sample size to get a consensus of what a country of 313.9 million people think.

    May 11, 2014 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  22. T Roe

    More than six in 10 Republicans want the measure repealed. Then mandate NO MORE EMPLOYER PROVIDED health care. Everyone has to buy their own. Mo more Medicare. Ditto. Everyone has to buy their own. These hypocritical GOP losers would change their feeble mind then. GUARANTEED.

    May 11, 2014 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  23. Searcher1

    Yes, the MAJORITY of American's are NOT STUPID and realize that progress in health care needs to be made and that the GOP's only solution is free-market premium rape...

    May 11, 2014 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  24. Jeff Willoughby

    The problem with this poll is that it is waaay to premature. Many key components of the ACA (Obamacare) have been postponed conveniently (by President Obama himself) until AFTER the mid-term election. Obfuscation being one of his many talents. Anyway, let's wait, oh, maybe another year or so to see what people really think about the wonders of ACA.

    May 11, 2014 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  25. Chris

    There is nooo way most Americans want Obamacare. This is a typical liberal poll that in no waynreflects the majority of Americans feelings. My healthcare just went up 26% because of Obamacare as well asnmy deductibles anf co-pays. Everyone I have spoken to that actually wotkd and pays for healthcare have had huge increases in premiums with worse coverage. Over 50% of the people that signed up for Obamacare havent even paid one penny of their premium!! So now they will receive subsidies for that! Its total crap.

    May 11, 2014 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
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