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. Hopeful Optimist

    I don't know what Chi Town is smoking, but it must be awfully intoxicating. Sounds to me like he is quoting from a Republican supported lobbying effort. At one time some thought that ships that sailed to the horizon would fall off the edge of the earth. At one time a large portion of the American people thought global warming was a hoax. Hell, at one time most people probably didn't believe in evolution. But we do get smarter with the passage of time and experience. Chi Town will learn the truth, but he'll never admit that he was wrong. And then he will go on down the road, not having learned his lesson, and he'll try to spread some false BS on another subject, because THOSE WHO KNOW THE LEAST KNOW IT THE LOUDEST.

    May 29, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  2. A Real American

    It's so funny that yahoos objecting to single payer health care always yammer about how awful government is... Then they get in their cars, race down the government built and maintained freeways, protected by a government run police force, in a country defended by a government run military, to get to their homes, which they probably bought with government backed loans, and to which– in case the darned thing ever caught fire– they look to a government run Fire Department to keep safe.

    But God forbid the government ever gets involved in health care!

    Much better to leave that to for profit corporations. You know, the caring folks the likes of whom brought you the current economic meltdown and ongoing foreclosure nightmare.

    May 29, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  3. bess

    they didn't ask me.

    May 29, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  4. J.P.

    And since when has more government involvement in ANYTHING ever resulted in better quality, lower prices or increased efficiency?

    May 29, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  5. Doctor doctor, give me the news

    That's because there are too many people out there that put little to nothing into our system and little into their thinking, being the sheep that they are.

    Just wait till your Mom or Dad get sick and the percentages of their survival are a little passed the threshold of what big "gubment" wants to pay for and they don't get their operation or medicine as it would not be worth the costly risk acording to the preset numbers that are used.

    You think I am full of it, DO SOME HOMEWORK, it is happening all around the world where this stupidity was tried.

    Make it less costly for businesses to purchase it for people that actually uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh work and for the people hat don't work or make real little as they chose to not get an education, charge them a pittance, but then they wil feel part of the pain by actually paying into it and not just running to the Doctor as it costs them NOTHING now to do so.

    Our LEGAL elderly and our Veterans, should pay NOTHING as they have uh, uh, h, uh earned that right.

    Problem solved and one of you Obama sheep who are going to hammer me, because well uh, uh, uh, uh you are sheep, name ONE thing your "gubment" is good at running?

    May 29, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  6. nelson

    I doubt that poll result.. we have lost enough liberty from
    the USA.. government wants to rule and they will! Not enough
    people who tink for themselves these days.. all want a free
    handout instead of working for it!!!

    May 29, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  7. DaBird

    Another Obama lie.........Healthcare for everyone....but your taxes won't go up. 100% of everyone's taxes are going up with this empty suit President.

    May 29, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  8. Corey

    @Chi Town

    Where did you get this information? From my research, this is unsubstantiated rhetoric.

    Whom do you think maintains the massive and bloated private health insurance infrastructure we currently have? The individual. So the salary of every employee, the profits the board receives, ect... of these for-profit companies is stuck on the individual. Moreover, payment for all hospital services on someone whom either (i) doesn't have insurance, or (ii) can pay their medical expenses is left to the individual (i.e., those who can pay). In this twisted scenario, we have socialized medicine of sorts; however, one that is extremely wasteful in the most horrific sense by building up completely unneeded institutions.

    My friend, the number cause of bankruptcy in this country is health care related expenses. Not only is this a moral outrage, for the richest nation on Earth. It is also the most extreme determent to our economy!

    May 29, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  9. Only 21% of Americans trust republicans to lead them into the 21st century!

    Well, well, well all you neo-cons. It looks like almost two thirds of America do NOT think "big gubermint" is as bad as you knuckle dragging rednecks think!

    May 29, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. Polar Bears Against Palen

    Conservatives only love governement when there is something in it for them. Screw helping the common good and lending a helping hand. Plain greed and selfish. They can't get enough goverment when it comes to the military and moral issues, though.

    May 29, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  11. Brian in AZ

    @A Real American

    There are some things government does well (and that ONLY government should be entrusted to do–like defend the country), and there are things it does VERY poorly.

    Obviously, healthcare is in the latter category given the fact that Medicaire, Medicaid and Social Security are teetering on bankruptcy now and never have been the sweeping advances in health care quality they purported to be.

    May 29, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  12. munchmom

    No one asked THIS taxpayer-no way–I want my health care to be like it is, not nationalized like European nations or Canada has. Keep the mitts off my health care!

    May 29, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. Ms Priss

    What liberal college did this sampling come from? No, hell no, we don't want more government control of our daily lives. That particular government in power now will destroy the private, independent thinking and responsible citizenry of this country. The idiots on the left who think any of this is good will be just as deprived of rights as those of us who oppose this crap.

    May 29, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. Throw out all incumbents

    Any time the government gets involved in anything, the cost goes up.

    May 29, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  15. Mike in SA

    This poll was pretty badly worded if it said "lower costs and great coverage". Of course people are for GREAT or IMPROVED coverage. Ask the respondents if they would like "the same costs and long wait lists for care". My guess is that the results would be somewhat different.

    Really, a grade schooler could have come up with less leading wording. A professional worded this survey???

    May 29, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. richard

    single payer.....what part of that don't you understand???? All of these folks claiming they know so much about health care in other they actually live there and use their system or are they just regurgitating what they hear from the right wing no sayers?????

    May 29, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  17. The Broker.

    CNN Poll. Love, Borack Obama. We have to live! The Greatest News Media on the Planet. In other words: we bend in a breeze, just like the Guy we helped Elect..

    May 29, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. @BigMisterC

    I'd much rather have the Republican Ideal of healthcare for myself: Make boatloads of money by investing in insurance companies that screw over Americans and have a private doctor on retainer.

    But since I cannot do that I would be happy to be in a better regulated more affordable healthcare system that is available in America and happens to be socialized. It's called Medicare! Too bad I have to wait till I am 65 to have it.

    May 29, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. Teleprompter of the U.S.A.

    The problemn is there will be more government intrusion, lower quality, lower everything, and you might get a smaller charge, but that isn't really true, either, since this incompetent president is going to raise taxes across the board for it.

    May 29, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  20. RobK

    Get rid of health insurance altogether, especially employer provided insurance. Make people cost compare. Competition will drive down costs.

    May 29, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  21. bill meade

    OK so here it starts.


    Do you really believe , in your heart of hearts, that the Govt getting ivolved in anything is going to reduce the cost and increase efficiency of anything. Go to the post office, go to the DMV.

    This is a false choice, I bet 85% of Americans would favor more govt interaction if it helped them win the lottery. Its a rediculous, impossible question. because its outcome

    Obama knows fundamentally Americans shy away form Govt intervention in private lives, and for good reason, so he is now trying to convince you Health Care is the key to saving the economy.

    Im sorry, I missed the part that Health Care was what caused the mortgage crisis , or the credit crisis, or the inability for our car companies to compete because they were paying union labor twice the going rate for non union workers.

    Don't fall for it. I get why you like Obama, but dont allow this to destroy what you know in your head, Govt involvment doesnt reduce costs. Let them try to work on costs medications and perscriptions, but to establish a Govt Health plan is nuts and to try to justify it by all the money it will save is going "all in" on crazy.

    May 29, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  22. Dont blame me

    I wish that they would take are real sample of America, instead of only peolple living in New York.

    May 29, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. James Michael Roberson

    Could Chi Town tell us where all these facts he/she has offered came from. How does Chi Town know all this. Or is this just a good example of fear mongering. That is my guess.

    Personally I feel something must be done. There is no excuse for people to go without health care in our country. I believe Obama will get it done. At least he will try.

    I favor a Single Payer system. I believe this is the best plan for covering all Americans at affordable rates and assuring dependable health care. Those people below the poverty line can be given insuraance, those who can afford to pay will be charged a minimal monthly payment.

    This plan would out of necessity shut down the private health care insurers. They have gotten rich enough already, I would not worry about them.

    May 29, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  24. Pee Wee

    Those that trade liberty for security deserve neither....

    May 29, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |

    Sounds like what we're getting now with the current system, Mr. Chi.

    We don't believe you. Your description of socialized health care sounds just like for-profit health care. How long have you been a millionaire? What are you trying to hide?

    May 29, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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