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. DL

    fact: something has to be done REGARDLESS. Bush signed the prescription drug addon for medicare which completely the government within the next 5 to 7 years, since he did NO negotiation for purchasing medicines, all analysts have looked at the information and Dem's and Rep's alike all say it will take 110% of the governments COMPLETE income...that means no school funding, no military, no get the idea. So these people that whine and aren't for changing the health care in this country, if we continue the same approach we have, it will allready has for almost 40% of the country, when you lose your insurance maybe you will stop defending a failed policy.

    May 29, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  2. James Michael Roberson

    bill meade your just wrong

    May 29, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  3. YBM

    Sounds like allowing the government to have population control. There is going to be a lot of "you don't have enough useful life left to make it worth the expense to cure you."

    From the article it sounds like the entitlement population wants their "cake" but don't want to pay for it.

    May 29, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. Kelby In Houston, TX

    I remember when Jindal gave a response to President Obama's semi state of the union speech. There was a running theme in Jindal's response and that theme was "American's can do Anything". He repeated that phrase as if it's his party's mantra.
    Now we approach the issue of Universal healthcare and the right is saying "Americans can do anything...except provide healthcare for its citizens.
    I read the posts on this board and I see a lot of fearful people afraid of the future. They don't know if we can or if we should do this. Some people are worried about paying for somebody else's bad decision.
    To them I say, YES WE CAN!
    Countries all over the world have Universal healthcare. Sure, their system may have its flaws, but nobody said we have to do it exactly like everybody else. We can do it better.
    And none of us can foresee the future, so why are you trying to predict the worst?
    WE CAN DO THIS! To doubt ourselves, our country...would be wrong

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

    The ones that are telling us that health care reform/single payer health care is a bad idea are the same right wing voices that have been so wrong countless times in the past.

    And think of what a boon this would be to small businesses across the US if they don't have to worry about health care coverage for their employees no where near as much as they do now.

    May 29, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  6. Kevin from Co

    Polar Bears Against Palen do you ever actually post anything thoughtful about the artical your posting under or do you just keep up with the same old anti repub dribble?

    May 29, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  7. YBM

    To: Chi Town May 29th, 2009 4:31 pm ET

    scare tactic

    you must work for the health industry

    I have had health care in "socialized health care" systems in different countries and it is nothing like what you are writing

    who are you writing for… who pays you to spread these talking points
    You lie like a rug.

    May 29, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  8. patriot

    Brian in AZ: So, "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."?

    Why do you suppose that is? Medicare and Medicaid simply pay rates based on what providers charge–it is the private providers who set their rates. Unless we are talking about Medicare and Medicaid managed care plans: Again, the private sector determining who gets what and how much, not on what the patient needs, but according to what the "market" will bear. And, as well documented by both liberal and conservative economists, the health care market is a flawed one. But even if the flaws were removed (we simply go to a pure laizez-faire market) should the market be determining which and how much US citizens should get regarding such a vital necessity as health care?

    May 29, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  9. arithmetic is liberal

    RobK May 29th, 2009 4:57 pm ET

    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.

    It will be less costly to you in the long run because of preventative care. People "unhealthy lives" potentially affecting you happens because of two reasons:

    First, lack of education, poverty. You are not going to have a healthy populous when Monsanto has decided that manufacturing nothing but corn syrup and other derivatives fattens people up, destroys their joints and stops their hearts. More healthcare available to more people would lead to better education by doctors, not just a quick zip-in-"lose 15 lbs, Joe"-zip-out that we have under HMOs.

    Second, preventative care would reduce the number of emergency room visits and hospital stays that bankrupt those with no healthcare. When you have to go into thousands of dollars of debt for a broken leg, then that just criminal.

    So the net result would cost you LESS in the long run. LESS money would have to be devoted to each person, and LESS critical resources would be taken up. Personally, I will gladly trade off for a minimal tax increase as opposed to a 4 hour wait at the emergency room.

    And that's how single payer healthcare can help you. "Me first" mentality is not the right, just, nor frankly fiscally responsible thing to do. When you break it down past the "I don't wanna pay taxes" it becomes crystal clear.

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

    The government has already influenced the health care industry under the Bush/Cheney administration, they let the industry take whatever they could get from us in return for donations.

    We need to regulate health care and manage it with the same urgency as we maintain our defense department.

    The republican congressmen are so quick to criticize American workers for getting wages of less than $100K/Year but, refuse to say anything about Doctors, Lawyers, Executives, etc making tens of millions of dollars each year. The income disparity in this country is outrageous and we need to get back to a progressive income tax to tax the wealthiest few and give tax breaks to the rest of us. It's time for the rich to pay their fair share!

    May 29, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  11. YBM

    phoenix86 May 29th, 2009 4:31 pm ET

    What is the cost of no elective coverage? What is the cost of a Washington burearocrat determining what treatment you get? What is the cost of age profiling to determine treatment?

    That is the cost of Obamacare.
    You hit the nail on the head. It is amazing that the sheeple are still buying the anti-christ's line of bull.

    May 29, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  12. Corey

    @bill meade

    For anyone whom has worked with (NOT FOR) large academic institutions, with large corporations, and large government institutions find one consistent trait: they are ALL highly inefficient and filled with wasteful bureaucracy.

    The criticisms in this country toward government inefficiency are well-founded, but there is the lacking criticisms of corporate inefficiency. Considering they both will do an inefficient job, I would much rather have elected officials (or those appointed by such) and a democratic election process managing my health care, rather than corporations which are not democratic in the least and are entirely based upon profit. At least the former conveys an image of usefulness, in the name of votes, versus the later.

    May 29, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  13. JT

    Medicine should NOT be big business. ANYTHING related to human welfare (like fire and police) should be government controled.

    May 29, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  14. bob

    i really dont know why you Americans are so in fear of a single payer health care plan like we have here in Canada. Yes its true that we pay higher taxes to pay for it and yes sometimes you have to wait for non emergency carre (our emergency care is run on a triage system). I have a family doctor of my choice and I can call him up and see him anytime I want and the visit costs me nothing. I had a heart bypass operation about 12 years ago. I was operated on right away and the whole operation cost me $0. If I now enter the emergency room of a hospital with anything related to my heart I am seen immediately. It is really sickening to see citizens of the richest country in the world going bankrupt because they cant afford to pay for their medical expenses. No system is perfect but yours is way beyond that. My Medicare card has saved me way more than what I have paid in taxes and as I get older I am sure I will have to use it more frequently but I also know I wont possibly lose my house to pay the bills!!!

    May 29, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  15. Tim, Seattle

    @ Doctor, Doctor
    "You think I am full of it, DO SOME HOMEWORK, it is happening all around the world where this stupidity was tried.
    Yes, you are full of it
    Typical fear mogering, flat-earth republican. Your visions of denied surgeries and momth-long wait times are absurd. You dont have to look any farther than the corporate HMO's that already limit your choice and deny procedures, so your assertion that this will be introduced with health care reforme is just stupid. DO YOUR HOMEWORK

    And since you can keep your present health plan under Obama's reform plans, why should you be affected? Are you afraid your private health plan cant compete along with a government-sponsored alternative? Or are you just afraid...period?

    May 29, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  16. ds

    With the government's proven track record of inefficiency, wasteful spending, lax controls, and layers upon layers of useless bureaucracy, why would anyone want to put government in charge of their health care?

    Because with the current system's proven track record of inefficiency, wasteful spending, lax controls, and layers upon layers of useless bureaucracy things will only get worse.

    May 29, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  17. Shasta

    So typical. People want the benefits without paying the price. The money has to come from somewhere...this is the sort of thinking that got America this deep in debt.

    May 29, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  18. donttreadonme

    They don’t even have a plan yet? I think everyone can agree that something needs to give. We need a bipartisan approach this time.

    Those who cannot afford health care already get it for free. Others don't have it because they would rather spend the money to improve their lifestyles. These folks should not be rewarded.

    May 29, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  19. Dallas Independent - thank goodness

    Once again, CNN, where do you do these polls? There is NOBODY that I know of that is in favor of government intervention in health care!! Medicare is a farce but, since that is all the elderly have, it will somewhat do better than nothing. I do not want the government telling me what I can and cannot have done in the way of medical treatment! Like Nobama knows anything about it.

    May 29, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  20. Len

    It is the right thing to do for all Americans! Do not let the far right conservatives tell you differently! They only care about their wealth and donot care about 40 million Americans without health care! And unfortunaltey growing.

    May 29, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  21. Mari( maybe one of my comments will be posted)

    All I have to say is:

    Every......... 30 seconds........ An American files for bankruptcy........ due to the high cost of healthcare.


    You can bet that the fear-mongers will be out in force with their misinformation and lies.

    Please America do yourselves a favor do your own thinking and research!

    May 29, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  22. Chi Town

    Canadian health insurance is compulsory, monopolistic, and administered by the various provincial governments under strict control of the federal government. It is illegal for a Canadian citizen to carry private insurance coverage for any health care services covered by the government. Physicians are told by the government how much they can charge for their services; drug prices are set by the government. The supply of medical services in Canada is completely rationed, with no significant private alternative.

    Canadians may not pay the price in dollar terms ... but they pay a steep price indeed in terms of care denied or delayed and the poor quality of service provided by unhappy medical practitioners whose incomes do not match their skill and training.

    Long waiting lines are the worst flaw in the system. The Fraser Institute, a Canadian think tank, calculated in 2003 the average Canadian waited more than four months for treatment by a specialist once the referral was made by a general practitioner. According to the Fraser Institute's work, the shortest median wait was 6.1 weeks for oncology (cancer) treatment without radiation. In some provinces, neurosurgery patients waited more than a year. A simple MRI requires, on average, a three-month wait in Canada.

    May 29, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  23. ds

    Those that trade liberty for security deserve neither….

    You're on the wrong thread. The Bush defending his policies post was two pages down

    May 29, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  24. Tim, Seattle

    @ all the robotic GOP-ers harping about "Socialized health care in Russia, in Cuba, in Nicaragua, in England, in Canada. What a joke "

    Just so you can see how moronic you are.... the ranking of Healthcare (from the World Health Organization) of the United States is #37. Thats right America's Healthcare system is ranked 37.
    Countries ranked higher than we are:

    1. France
    2. Italy
    3 San Marino
    4 Andorra
    5 Malta
    6 Singapore
    7 Spain
    8 Oman
    9 Austria
    10 Japan
    11 Norway
    12 Portugal
    13 Monaco
    14 Greece
    15 Iceland
    16 Luxembourg
    17 Netherlands
    18 United Kingdom
    19 Ireland
    20 Switzerland
    21 Belgium
    22 Colombia
    23 Sweden
    24 Cyprus
    25 Germany
    26 Saudi Arabia
    27 United Arab Emirates
    28 Israel
    29 Morocco
    30 Canada
    31 Finland
    32 Australia
    33 Chile
    34 Denmark
    35 Dominica
    36 Costa Rica

    May 29, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  25. Lori

    My cousin lives in Canada and she laughs at us here. She sees those ridiculous conservative patients rights commercials on CNN and says that her system isn't perfect but she wouldn't trade her healthcare system for ours at all. We do need a change to our healthcare system b/c it is a disaster. I agree with President Obama and our need for healthcare reform.

    May 29, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8