May 11th, 2014
09:00 AM ET
7 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CNN Poll: Should Obamacare be kept or repealed?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Thirty-eight percent of those questioned say the law should be repealed and replaced with a completely different system (18%) or say the measure should be repealed, with Americans going back to the system in place before the law was implemented (20%).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 More than six in 10 Republicans want the measure repealed.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. Swarley

    Since SCOTUS has ruled that Obamacare is a tax, let's just make it a payroll tax. Forcing companies to offer healthcare to their employees is burdensome. I don't want my employer involved in my healthcare at all.

    May 11, 2014 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  2. Don Jones

    I'd like to know who is funding the ads against the ACA here in Michigan. There's a lot of folks who have benefited from Obamacare, including my wife and myself.

    May 11, 2014 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  3. Earl McCan

    Nobody want Ovomitcare. It was forced on us. We don't get to choose. Typical liberals think it's free.

    May 11, 2014 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  4. mucklucky

    I'm sure I could get a majority of people polled that would favor never working and always having a place to live, a car, a cell phone, food and booze for life... of course, I doubt a majority would offer to pay for such a lifestyle for someone else!

    May 11, 2014 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  5. YK

    I tried getting a fair and balanced view by reading about this on Fox News, but I couldn't find anything there.

    May 11, 2014 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  6. littlepeaks

    Well, CNN says most people favor leaving Obamacare alone, so if you don't like it, you need to rethink your opinion and get with the majority.

    May 11, 2014 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  7. Mel

    Where would we be with health care if the Republicans had not attacked Hillary twenty years ago? We would have had twenty years to fix it. Health care would probably not be an issue now. Maybe?

    May 11, 2014 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  8. Nick

    This entire argument is an appeal to the people. Fallacious

    May 11, 2014 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  9. oriolebob

    It does need to be changed with one and that is if under the current format a part time employee can't work no more then 30 hours I think that needs to be changed before they were able to have 40 hours a week and no can't doesn't work well for young americans that's my main concern as a business man I can't schedule the help I need and I'm losing productivity because I don't have the help I used to

    May 11, 2014 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  10. PaulW

    Sure, you ask the select group of people and you get the answers you want. You asked 1008 people who were in favor of Obamacare before it was passed. Now that it is, only a majority of those who lean far left, like it. If you would ask a good sampling of the population instead of this hand-picked 1008, you'd find much different results. If this law were as popular as your statistics make it out to be, you'd have had 1008 people who say it should remain in effect. This law is terrible.

    May 11, 2014 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  11. michaelgranse

    Taking a victory lap for Obamacare would be a bit like celebrating winning a hockey game because the other team forfeited. The idea of providing medical care to people who cannot afford it is something that even opponents of Obamacare would embrace if it were done in a reasonable manner. My only objection to all of this is that it has resulted in my own insurance premiums doubling in price and if this happens again I am not going to be able to afford coverage for my family. So much for "keeping your doctor and keeping your insurance."

    May 11, 2014 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  12. Kyle G.

    How many of the 8 million people that "have signed up" through the ACA already had coverage before hand, only to have their old plans cancelled by the ACA? Regardless…whether the number is 8 million, or 80 million….you put in place a law that says "you will get health coverage or I will fine you, or possibly put you in jail if you don't." Then you go on to do a "victory lap" when people sign up? Lame.

    May 11, 2014 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  13. Joel

    Between being able to have insurance or not being able to have insurance, which many were left without before the passage of this act, I think being able to have it is better! I am not surprised that that the majority of people agree with that.

    The GOP merely hates Obama and everything associated with him, especially something as big as the Affordable Health Care Act. Having issuance is a matter of life and death for some and a matter of good health or bad health for all others.

    Not everyone uses the fire departments services or the police departments service directly, yet we all benefit from them. This is the same idea.

    It was passed by congress as law and upheld by the supreme court. time to move on and get over it!

    May 11, 2014 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  14. John

    I'm a left leaning centrist, but even I will question the validity of a CNN sponsored poll. I'd like to see a poll from a more unbiased source.

    May 11, 2014 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  15. TheMovieFan

    If this were limited to asking true Americans, the most relevant opinion would be known.

    May 11, 2014 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  16. scott

    more lies by cnn the terrorist news network and al-Qaida of dc. no one wants Osama Obama care.

    May 11, 2014 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  17. Johnnie

    When people can get past the Tea Parties lies and understand what it's designed to do, they'll never go back. The post above is an example. Just as the IRS works with Social Security to provide earnings info, so to will they work with the ACA. ,

    May 11, 2014 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  18. fhc1983reunion

    Everyone I know who has Obamacare thought it would be great. Then, a few of them got sick and figured out that it is simply major medical insurance. They have to reach a ridiculous deductible, so in essence it does them no good. This shame of healthcare will bankrupt this country. Sad!

    May 11, 2014 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  19. glenview0818

    Another poll, with meaningless results, the media trying to convince everyone that the law is good.

    May 11, 2014 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  20. Timus

    18% want it repealed......but Republicans spend 100% of their time talking about repealing it................

    May 11, 2014 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  21. Alina1

    This law was so deeply demonized by the Republicans that I am VERY surprised it has (any ) support.. Its a good law, and it will be improved by SMART politicians over the time.

    May 11, 2014 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  22. Joe Pallone

    I honestly have never seen so many ignorant comments on this subject. The GOP has their foot on the head of the Dems? We have a leader who REFUSES to negotiate on anything and then blames the other side (or vetoes their ideas), and then screams "THEY WON'T NEGOTIATE" and you idiots buy it.

    Blame the GOP all you want, but my God your peoples thinking is ALL that is wrong with this world. Take care of yourself and stop looking to others to do it for you. I was brought up knowing a needed a good job to have health care. I got one, now I have to pay for all the people who didn't want to listen.

    This country has about 10 good years left in it, and if Hillary takes over, we are toast before 2020. No need for her second term, we'll all be dead and buried by then.

    May 11, 2014 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  23. Rocinante

    It is mostly true that people in red counties and states tend to use more government health services than people in other areas. So it is strange that Tea Partyers are against a program that will help them. Unless they just want something for free.

    May 11, 2014 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  24. Too bad that the US has the crappie most expensive healthcare

    The US spends twice as much per capita as any other country in the world and still has millions who are uninsured. The US is ranked 42nd in life expectancy behind such medical superstars as the Faroe Islands (ranked 34th). The US might not get much for all of the money spent on healthcare but it has the highest paid CEO running the healthcare industry.

    May 11, 2014 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  25. Kelcy

    Too funny. CNN has become so far right that they have to spin their positive numbers into a negative story.

    May 11, 2014 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18