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. 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.

    May 29, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. RobK

    Why should people who live healthy lifestyles subsidize those who don't? That will be the result of government-run health care. It already is to some extent. Insurance companies are so saddled with rules that they are no longer really insurance companies, but middlemen and paperwork managers.

    May 29, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. The Broker.

    I am not. Wolf Blitzer. I am Pro Obama. Do not comment any further.

    You are just a Bigot????

    May 29, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  4. sue

    hey...Real America thank you for that! People really need to get their heads out of the sand sometimes.

    May 29, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  5. David Newport, OR

    People who say it can't be done are ignorant. Argue for your limitations and so they shall be yours. Over and over, I was told the changes I suggested in my job were not possible. Yet over and over, instead of simply taking their word, I tried it myself. Now all the suggestions I wanted implemented are implemented because I did it and I did it at half the cost they were spending.

    Republicans, instead of sitting on your arses, if it can't be done...why not come up with an alternative that can be done and saves money?

    May 29, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. Only 21% of Americans trust republicans to lead them into the 21st century!


    This just in, Wall Street has the best 3 months since October of 2007?

    Darn, looks like Wall Street is also on board that "runaway train to socialism"!


    May 29, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. Hodog

    Chi Town!

    PS. Live in the U.S....get sick...have to declare bankruptcy....

    Stop and think before you talk.

    May 29, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  8. dg

    more welfare..thats all it is

    May 29, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. deb0155

    Just ask anyone in Great Britain how socialized health care is working there. Months and months of waiting to get in for chemo treatments, women being turned away for breast cancer treatment, etc. Keep it up people – we'll be Cuba soon!

    May 29, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. Chi Town

    To: Chi Town

    Google European health care system and it's costs...

    I also lived in Oxford England for 4 years...

    60% of your income goes to tax in one form or another... the healthcare only covers 80%... the rest is on you... up front.

    Most have sup insurance to pay the difference... cause 20% can break you. etc... but don't believe me... just do the research

    May 29, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  11. The Unshrub

    In your face republicans. Now shut up and let the adults do their job.

    May 29, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. deb0155

    Pee Wee: You are the most intelligent person here! No one could have said it better! Kudos!

    May 29, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  13. Mike in SA

    It's so funny that "A Real American" thinks we get in our cars, race down the (FEDERAL) government built and maintained "John P Murtha Highway to Nowhere", protected by a (LOCAL) government run police force, in a country defended by a (FEDERAL) government run military with their $600 toilets, to get to their homes, which they probably bought with (FEDERAL) government backed loans before Freddie and Fannie collapsed, and to which– in case the darned thing ever caught fire– they look to a (LOCAL) government run Fire Department to keep safe.

    Yeah, the FEDERAL government really has things under control...not.

    May 29, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  14. Linda B., Ga.

    Why is it that the American Taxpayers aren't offered the "low cost" health insurance that is offered to our Politicians (House of Reps and Senate)?

    May 29, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  15. Marc

    Yo' Chi Town and Steve – Get your facts straight Chi, whatever was your source for your scare tactics numbers, a bit more real next time... it remainded me of that study that some idiot from NRA tried to use to prove that having a gun in your house is a good thing, he overdid so grossly the numbers that even researches made by pro-NRA people were suspicious of him, and he in the end he couldn't prove that he had did a research in the first place!
    Neither British nor Canadian are 100% for their National Health Care service because it has some flaws that appears in any research or news story that anyone decides to do about the theme. So why do they do? Pressure the government to fix the problems WITHOUT giving up health care for all...

    May 29, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  16. Ted

    Anyone opposed to nationalized health care, do me a quick favor. You're already on your computer – pull up Google and run a quick search for people in countries with a national health care program complaining that they'd like an employer-funded system like we have in the US. When you don't find any, ask yourself why that might be.

    May 29, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  17. mike,texas

    Schools,fire departments,and police are all socialism and they work.Republicans dont complain about those programs.Fear is the dish of the decade for the few republicans left over.They claim to be for less spending and smaller goverment.Failed and Failed.They claim to be Pro Life yet Bush and Dicks war killed more innocent lives than all the abortions in that same time period.Lesson to be learned.Someone has been lying all this time becuse the proof is in the pudding.Its time for the republicans to fade away like slavery.

    May 29, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  18. Adolfo Costa

    Socialized health care in Russia, in Cuba, in Nicaragua, in England, in Canada. What a joke and a yoke Mr. Knows everything Obama wants to discharge on the shoulders of all Americans.Beware, the end of our country as we know it is near. Once slaves, slaves for ever. And do not cry like for missing what you did not have the courage of defend and protect.If this is the land of the Braves, show you are one of them...

    May 29, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  19. James Michael Roberson

    I swear some of these comments are outrageous. People who have never been in the health care system spout off the rhetoric they have heard on Rush Limbaugh or from the Health Insurance industry, or maybe they just dream them up.

    People really at this time in our history need to get real. If you do not know the facts you should find out, and not from Rush or Blue Cross. There are too many people and not just the poor who are suffering and/or going broke under our present system. Find out the facts before you post "Oh I am a red blood American don't take my health care away, blah blah blah."

    Finally, Single payer system or God help us.

    May 29, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  20. denverdoc

    For all of the opponents of a single payer system, I think a public payer option is the best of both worlds. You or your employer can choose to buy into governement healthcare at presumably a lower cost with decent benfits or you can maintain your beloved private healthcare. If the governement healthcare plan is as poor as naysayers predict it to be it will easily be beaten out of the market by the private insurers. I dont understand what the Republicans and Conservatives are so worried about given their own logic. I thought competition in the marketplace was ALWAYS good thing. Maybe competition only matters if the corporate overlords make more than their fair share.

    May 29, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  21. The Unshrub

    From the comments very few have a clue of what Obama is talking about. Most of the negative comments must have someone elses healthcare system in mind. And for those of you who say they don't want to pay for those who don't have a healthy life style when they do really don't understand what they are talking about. How many runners, etc need medical care or have an earily heart attack. Get real and stop listening to Rush and others who are deliberately lying.

    May 29, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  22. Chi Town


    I don't disagree with a word you said.
    If the plan is new and good... great.
    If it's like Europe.... not great.

    May 29, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  23. Rob

    Apparently 63% of those polled have been duped into thinking that healthcare will be better. Sure, you won't have to pay as much, but you'll die waiting for the govt. to get around to getting you medicine you need. Here's a question. If places like Canada and the UK have such awesome healthcare systems, why is it when people there need something really important done they come to America?

    May 29, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  24. Diane Panama City Fl

    pheonix86: ObamaCare – is that a term that Rush or G. Gordon coined for you? People like you, who suck up the swill these two spew out, are retarded. There's no need to challenge the likes of you with facts and figures – you wouldn't understand them any way. Simply put, you are probably another clueless bigot who types with two fingers, one of which you use to pick your nose.

    May 29, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  25. Tim, Seattle

    Don't let the conservative anti-goverment fearmongers scare you on this blog. What they ironically fear is that solid bastion of capitalism..... competition

    The Health Care industry including physicians, health insurance companies, unions and businesses (especially small ones) all agree we ned to fix it. It was different 15 years ago when no-one could see evidence of the damage the high costs are taking on the economy. Now thgey do and they get it. They are on board, although there will have to be some compromises worked out.

    Glad to see a solid majority of the American peeople see it that way too.

    If it lowers healthcare costs for everyone, then why should you be afraid of a competing government plan to entice more competition and choice, therby drivingh down costs..
    Whats the matter, GOP, scared your private health plans can't compete with a government one?

    May 29, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
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