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CNN Poll: Should Obamacare be kept or repealed?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Thirty-eight percent of those questioned say the law should be repealed and replaced with a completely different system (18%) or say the measure should be repealed, with Americans going back to the system in place before the law was implemented (20%).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 More than six in 10 Republicans want the measure repealed.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

    Larry38363
    It's not perfect and hasn't been perfect, but it's a start. You don't need to scrap it, it should be continually improved. But then, the right wing presents NOTHING for average Americans and just intent on destroying what little they do have! Time to send these greedy, partisan, jerks HOME permanently!

    Exactly my thoughts !

    May 11, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. Lenny Pincus

    Just another failed Republican position. Seems to be an awful lot of them these past four decades, but they are known for it so no surprise.

    May 11, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. Alex Sol

    this is terrible for republicans. This was their entire agenda. weird considering our bridges are falling down, our employees on the bottom want a wage increase we have terrible gun laws that favor criminals and not lawful citizens the country wants immigration reform voting reform and interest rates on school loans needs addressing as well. I guess as usual the progressives will have to deal with those things when Hillary wins in 2016. since republicans care more about hating Obama. then they do the founding ideas that built this country like the claim. Folks it is time to admit republicans cant govern. end of story

    May 11, 2014 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. teri

    where do you find the people who comprise your statistics???? I have not yet talked with one individual who agrees that this law is the appropriate direction to move people within a democratic society

    May 11, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  5. teri

    even here on your post to article-–I can not calculate a 60% favor rate hummmm?

    May 11, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  6. edmundburkeson

    Try the poll again in a few months when 80 million people lose their employer provided healthcare reminding us again how big the lie: If you like it ... keep it!

    May 11, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. rs

    bdby
    Yeh, this obamacare system really works, I beg to differ….

    Now that the system is shut down for the year it begs the question TO the democrats: What are you doing about the other 38 million uninsured people who are now locked out of the health care system until next November? How are you going to help these people? For instance if by chance someone gets a job and is now able to make their premiums? Or a person who is now ill, do you tell them their sicknesses has to wait until November? This entire system needs to be scrapped, it is nothing but a tax revenue generator coming out of my pocket.
    America is waiting for the answer DEMOCRATS.
    The November-March enrollment period for commercial healthcare was established by the industry and not the government. It has been that way since I hut the workforce in '81- so I have no clue what you're railing about. As to why more aren't covered- tune your attention to the host of GOP Governors who turned down the Medicaid expansion. In those states alone, another 15-20 million people could be enrolled in healthcare insurance- so pleas ASK THEM.
    Meanwhile, the astute among us should note the GOP HAS NO PLAN, except to keep on increasing the number of the uninsured- which will hit YOU in the pocketbook. Got it?

    May 11, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. Cynthia

    My healthcare is awful after obamacare. I am stuck with Kaiser now as rates for other programs have skyrocketed. This HmO is not good and I am not impressed with my care from them at all compared to what I had a year earlier. We will probably end up like Australia where everyone can get "care" but the rich will still be able to get private care which is so much better!

    May 11, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. rs

    Tom
    I am sure the underachievers who are paying less on the backs of those who sacrificed to make a good life are very content
    _________
    Sure, because America really is only for the 1%, right?

    May 11, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. Crampon

    What the leg-humpers do not seem to understand, is that even if you are one of the very few who have lower costs now, all rates are expected to catch up to the demographic failure that is Obamacare later. Also the humpers forget that almost every thing bad about Obamacare was delayed until this fall, and the biggie is the employer mandate. Good luck with that around election time.

    May 11, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. earthshoes44

    The AHCA was a good idea and one of which I was a fan until I realized that it did not cover my family. In fact, it only hurts us. We've been without healthcare ever since my husband (and several dozen others) were laid off from his previous job. His current job (he's been there for better than six years) offered sky-high rates with high upfront deductibles. We simply couldn't afford it and did not sign on for it. Fast forwarding–those sky high rates have doubled, the high deductible are now ridiculously so (premiums are nearly $600 a month for a family that just barely makes $2000 and a deductible that is $1500). We do not quality for subsidized healthcare because we have this insurance available to him through his employer and we live in one of the states that refused to expand their medicaid program. So we are still without insurance, as are our children and we will lose part of our tax return to fines because we can't.

    We are not poor–not even close, but we live on a shoe string as it is (no cell phones, no cable or dish, no magazine subscriptions, no summer vacations, lots of store brand labels, etc). But we're caught between a rock and a hard place here–either pay a fine for insurance we can't afford or pay for insurance we can't afford to use.

    May 11, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  12. Name

    The only people that like it are the ones that where already to lazy to go and get a job that had decent health insurance. The people of working age today are just to lazy. And yes it's the society fault because we keep giving them every thing they want. In the older days you worked for stuff, now you just reach your hand out and ask for it. And just to let all the ones that keep saying it's cheaper what until the full process takes place the entire lay is not happened yet. The middle class like my self is the one paying for did every body already forget the extra taxes the comes out of your pay check. Then we don't get any subsidy to cover are cost. Nothing but leaches take what ever you can until where back to being a third world country again.

    May 11, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. edmundburkeson

    Any plan that is not government regulated and controlled is unacceptable to liberals. NO PLAN is better than this because this country does not need government to make a plan better than the POG Party of the Government.

    May 11, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  14. obama

    OK lets see how Obamacare adds up.

    Cost 1.36 Trillion
    Number signed up 8 Million

    Seems like a giant waste of taxpayer money at a time when the country is broke to me.
    That 1.36 Trillion would have been better spent on a better educational system in the USA...

    Socialism will never succeed because it cant be mathematically maintained. If Obama's base actually had educations they would have never voted him into office. I think Obama's base needs to go research what Stalin referred to as Useful Idiots...

    May 11, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  15. Javier

    The Permanent Death of Healthcare in the USA is ObamaCare. Destroying healthcare for 90% of Americans over a pre-existing conditions issue was Lunacy – there was an easier way to fix that simple problem.
    The Penalty – Look for an increase in premiums and the “tripling” of out-of-pocket deductables to affect 80% of Americans when the Employer Mandate hits.
    There is now less investment going into Medical device technology which has an ACA tax. Less investment in critical, expensive cancer drugs, etc. that are not covered under ObamaCare and have been shut out of the market.
    Look for a trillion dollar government bailout over the next 5 years – a typical spending Liberal economic mistake.
    Look for increased government management costs, expensive government pension payouts and lousy service we have all come to expect from virtually all government run agencies.
    Your best bet – think about going outside the USA for your healthcare in your golden years cause it's going to STINK here at home. Vote all the Dems out and teach them a lesson.

    May 11, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. Gelli

    I have never understood a couple of things about US healthcare.
    Firstly, even under Obamacare, most of your healthcare dollars are paid to insurance companies, who take their cut before passing on the remainder to the people who actually provide the healthcare. Even those, especially the hospitals, have to set some of those funds aside for sales, marketing and extra administration due to the complexities of multiple payers. No wonder healthcare there is so expensive, 40% of all your healthcare dollars goes to something other than actual healthcare.
    Secondly, the word 'socialised' keeps coming up, why? Let's use another example, your local Fire Department. This is financed with local taxes, and provides their service to everyone in the area. Same with the US Coast Guard. Paid by taxes, but if you go out on the water and get yourself into trouble, they will help you out. The list goes on, police, military etc all funded by taxes but their service is provided to all. Does that mean that they are 'socialised', is the US Coast Guard, 'socialised'? If not, why is it different?

    May 11, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  17. oddjob2234

    Oh, so, despite the obscenely misleading headline on the main page, falsely stating that "most favor keeping Obamacare" – the truth of the matter is that only TWELVE percent think it should be kept.

    Almost everyone thinks it should not be kept. They differ only in whether it should be changed, or flat out repealed.

    May 11, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  18. The Tax Man

    Medical insurance and medical coverage should be affordable for everyone. It should be competitive with no governmental restrictions and no geographical restrictions. You should own your insurance, not your employer, but if your employer wants to pay for it they should get a tax credit or deduction. Everyone should be able to buy the same insurance from any company anywhere in the entire US that will pay the doctors anywhere in the World. Medicine should be fully competitive with no restrictions or price controls by the manufacturers – free, unfettered competition. Tax free health insurance accounts should be available to everyone to cover insurance premiums, copays, deductibles, prescriptions. The problem is getting the government out of the healthcare programs. Let the private industry take care of this and remove the governmental barriers.

    May 11, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  19. VEW2012

    The Affordable Care Act is good in as far as it goes. and is much better than anything previous. Which is where many people could not afford to see a doctor unless it was in the emergency room, where those who fortunately have insurance pick up the cost with higher premiums. Mandated insurance makes everyone responsible for their own insurance costs. Obamacare has improved the lives of many who were denied coverage. The improvement that is needed is that it should morph into an universal single payer plan which would make it more affordable and inclusive. .

    May 11, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  20. dave

    It's really not a fair poll because the republicans never came up with a plan. They had 50 to 100 years to come up with one but they never did. The only other plan there is, is single payer, which everyone knows works much better, we don't need a poll to determine that. That would be like polling to see which way the sun comes up, most would say east, while the republicans would say west, especially if Obama said east. We could still get single payer, if the republicans cause ACA to fail, since they still don't have a plan. It's pretty much obvious that we have to compete with Countries that have single payer, and it's a much, much, better plan. A lot of the Countries that we compete with also have a VAT, which is basically an import tax, the combo really puts all American workers at a compeitive disadvantage.

    May 11, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  21. lawrence wilson

    IF you are a family and pay $600 per month for health insurance for your family then your rates are lower than mine were before the AHCA. Without this law my son would not have been able to participate in my policy as he is 21 years old now. He also has a pre-existing condition and might not be able to get his own policy. That is no longer the case. The entire medical system has been driving everyday Americans to bankruptcy on a regular basis this is flat out wrong and now, even though we have a flawed law that needs fixing, at least we have the opportunity to get a grip on this runaway train.

    May 11, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  22. gahh

    Obama made sure illegals would have help with their insurance, no matter what state they lived in, but he did nothing to help people with high premiums. If Obama really wanted people to have insurance, he would have put a limit on premiums, so people could afford insurance. Instead he allowed the insurance companies to set their own premiums, when everybody knows that's the reason people didn't have insurance to begin with, was because of the high cost. Just stupid.

    May 11, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  23. manhandler1

    I see a lot of posts by Righties on this board that are just outright lies. But they are only fooling themselves....which a total fool often does. Check out the lie by Johnny 5 saying his disabled brother pays over a thousand a month for meds. A made up "fact" that only he believes. Any expert on the ACA and what it provides for will be able to rip that one to shreds. Looks like the Rightie demonizers are going to lose the issue that they were gonna ride to victory on. Approval of the law is gaining and will be even greater by the time the elections roll around and (sigh) Righties won't have anything to run on....especially any kind of legislative record. What to do...What to do. Oh, I know....BULLGHAZI!

    May 11, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  24. bogus

    Bogus poll. Every single doctor hate it.

    May 11, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  25. PaPilot

    "Kept or Repealed" is a false dichotomy. Of course, the question is loaded.

    However, the results cannot be trustworthy, as the obvious conflicting datapoint is that only 6 million people have signed up for it. There are still 47 million uninsured Americans, and of those 6 Million, 5 Million were those who lost their insurance because of the law.

    So, the reality is that only 1 million uninsured Americans have signed up for Obamacare.

    May 11, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
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