May 29th, 2009
04:20 PM ET
14 years ago

CNN Poll: Americans OK with more government influence in return for lower health care costs

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sixty-three percent of respondents to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey say they would favor more government influence in health care in return for lower costs."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll indicates that most Americans are receptive to having more government influence over their health care in return for lower costs and more coverage.

Sixty-three percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Friday said they would favor an increase in the federal government's influence over their own health-care plans in an attempt to lower costs and provide coverage to more Americans; 36 percent were opposed.

The poll also suggests that slightly more than six out of 10 think the government should guarantee health care for all Americans, with 38 percent opposed.

But Americans appear to be split over raising taxes to increase coverage. Forty-seven percent of those questioned support raising taxes in order to provide health insurance to all Americans. An equal amount back the idea of keeping taxes at current levels but not providing health insurance for all Americans.

"Will the health-care debate be different this time," asked CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider. "It does look like public sentiment has shifted. But government does not seem to be the bugaboo it was 15 years ago, when a major push by the Clinton administration to reform and expand health care failed."

The poll indicates a partisan split. Democrats overwhelmingly support increased government influence over their health-care coverage in return for lower costs and great coverage for more Americans. Six out of 10 independents feel the same way, but only one in four Republicans agree.

"Opposition to President Barack Obama's health-care plan is ideological. It comes from Republicans and Conservatives. You are not hearing a lot of opposition right now from the business community and the health-care industry," Schneider said.

The poll's release comes three days before Congress returns from a one-week break. Health-care reform will be near the top of the agenda for lawmakers as they head back to Capitol Hill. The poll's release also comes one day after Obama urged supporters to turn up the pressure on lawmakers regarding health-care reform, telling them that "if we don't get it done this year, we're not going to get it done."

Health-care reform didn't go very far under President Bill Clinton. The current president thinks things will be different this time.

"Something else is different this time," Schneider said. "A lot of businesses and insurance companies are working with the Obama administration on health-care reform. They don't want to pay the costs any more."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll was conducted May 14-17, with 1,010 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Filed under: Health care
soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. mjm

    Let's use Medicare and Medicaid as our model for single payer healthcare.

    Those fine government programs are doing great, right?

    Let's expand failure....good thinking.

    May 29, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  2. kevin

    After some more of them face personal financial challenges trying to protect their families' health, the republican base will wake-up from their Rush-induced coma and realize that a not-for-profit health insurance co-op makes a lot of sense. Whether the federal government runs it or just keeps it honest doesn't really matter.

    We're paying insurance premiums so that we can get our prescription drugs, operations, emergency care at a somewhat reasonable cost. We're not intending that a hoard of insurance company execs drive the latest imported German sports coups using those premiums. Health insurance is not like auto, home or even life insurance- let the sellers fleece the unwitting buyers in those markets- no one dies. No, health insurance is a life-and-death transaction, and a small cabal of greedy executives should not be allowed to enrich themselves with no limits in that market. Ask yourself, what is the only purpose of a for-profit company? To MAXIMIZE profits. How does one do that? Maximize sell price and minimize costs. Sorry, kids, grandma can't get that pacemaker, the health insurance CEO needs a new Beemer!

    Registered republican

    May 29, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  3. Peter E

    'Government bueraucrats' you hear so often. As opposed to private bureaucrats who make a profit out of denying me services? Somebody tell me WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE???

    May 29, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  4. HonestMistake

    So most Americans want lower costs and more care and want someone else to pay for it.

    May 29, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
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