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. arithmetic is liberal

    Are people really serious about age profiling? Really, are you serious?

    What is the one group in this country who has single payer healthcare? THE ELDERLY.

    And, what group is overwhelmingly conservative and likely to believe this load of scare tactic crap? That's right, older people.

    If you think that you're going to be denied healthcare into old age, then answer this question: In Europe, where they have socialized medicine, why is the life expectancy rate at least 5 to 6 years longer than life expectancy rates in the US?

    May 29, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. Earl

    Health insurance is like public utilities in that they should be public domain. Enron, rolling black outs, energy shortages that did not exsist, medications that are a 1000 times of the actual value, profits made on insurance by denial. Yeh. I know the republicans are frustrated and totally concerned about the almighty dollar over the middle class major investment and maintainance of the government. It is just so frustrating to the republicans that wealth is derived from employees that deserve only the minimum to subsist. Frustrating to the republicans that there is a consitution, civil liberties and actually a Christian society that recognizes the arrogance and greed of the republican party to align with the middle of America. All I can say, it is about time.

    May 29, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  3. mcmgrant

    If Europe is socialist, then give me SOCIALISM anytime! The Europeans are far more civilized than we are!

    May 29, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  4. Enough

    My mother died under the Medicare coverage. The universal socialized version will be even worse. Quality over Quantity. Too many people think the Government should take care of them, that's why they vote Democrat. It would be like going to the Post office for your health care coverage!! Good luck, hope you are healthy. We can only hope the Universal plan includes a suicide pill.

    May 29, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  5. Joyce

    It is a gross misconseption that Europeans and Canadians do not like their health care. That is exactly what opponents want you to think. I have traveled extensively and have talked to people in England, Denmark and Canada, without exception, they are pleased with the care they recieve. I have relatives in Denmark and they are able to e-mail their doctor with a question. Try doing that here in America. It is absolutely a travesty that we have the best health facilities in the world and so many of our tax-payers have no access to them. AND by the way, there is no mention of Socialized Medicine in President Obama' plan. Stop being scared by the Republicans and people who do not want better healthcare.

    May 29, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  6. DAVE

    doctor docter said
    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?
    This country into the ground

    May 29, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  7. KC

    VA Hospitals, County Hospitals.......nope. Something needs to be done but be honest people (seriously, be honest), if the govt is in control of our healthcare it will be horrible. They can't run anything right. It is always wasteful spending, greasing palms, giving their buddies the contracts, etc., etc. (both parties). That won't stop. You are lying to yourself if you think it will. No thank you. No govt control of my medical services. I don't know the answer but maybe we can control the prescription industry and their over-inflated prices, med-mal lawsuits, abuse of the welfare system, illegals in the ERs.....just some ideas. Anyone?

    May 29, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  8. Victoria

    Only the rich can be assured they will be medically treated. Sad day for America.

    May 29, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  9. Oh how stupid they are.....

    in Canada where the government runs healthcare, you have to wait months to see a specialist and it might take you 2 years to get a hip replacement. You may have lower costs but you won't have healthcare.

    Do the math–with 40 million people being added to health insurance rolls and the number of doctors decreasing every year-how will you ever get to see a doctor????? Answer: only the wealthy will, because they will be able to pay the "access" fees which doctors are asking for in their new boutiques.

    May 29, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  10. WhoCares?

    Odd..Whenever I am watching FoxNews they always say " Americans don't want government in our healthcare".

    It's like one of their mantras.

    Are you saying that FoxNews is lying?? SHOCKER!!!

    May 29, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  11. Ed

    Uhmm NOBODY I know is ok for more govt, less cost and really piss poor health coverage. Dems if you really want that, move to Canada.

    May 29, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  12. Osama Bin Laden

    I am a retired Veteran whose main insurance is medcare now. I don't see anything wrong with the Government having control as long as they do not cut our benefits as they have done with the Veteran Administration. If they do then you'll be left hanging. I spent 28 years and three wars for my country and Feel I earned medicare. no so for all the illegals that are now exhausting the Social Security and Medicare for the elderly.

    May 29, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  13. Proud Member..Party of No

    CNN must be polling all of the unemployed democrats again while the republicans are at work.

    May 29, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  14. Dave from CO

    The president of UnitedHealth made so much money, that one of every $700 that was spent in this country on health care went to pay him.

    – This is what is wrong.
    – Healthcare money is funding an entire industry that is for profit not for healthcare and this industry tries every trick in the book to cheat both doctors and patients out of the care or payment they need.
    – If you wonder why the GOP turns a blind eye to this look no further than their main campaign contributors.

    May 29, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  15. IsaacTheForcedCatholic

    "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"

    Gee I wonder who created this big mess? People have short term memory. When Bill Clinton was in charge everything was good except for healthcare. When George W. Bush was in charge the whole country turn to crap. He is not running the show anymore so Government will be responsible now and efficient thanks to Obama.

    May 29, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  16. Wilby

    Republicans will be kicking and screaming about this. Of course they have offered no solutions for the past eight years!

    May 29, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  17. ib

    Count me out of the 63%. The less the gov. has to do with me the better off I am as far as I am concerned. I've watched the gov. screw up everything they put their hands on and then taxes go sky high to pay for the so called improvements.

    May 29, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  18. IsaacTheForcedCatholic

    "Chi Town, just shut-up, will you?" LOL i guess words hurt more than sticks and stones LOL. Such a sensitive person you are.

    May 29, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  19. Not hard to guess

    Its not hard to guess who in the industry is making fortune on these posts.There the ones screaming the loudest.

    May 29, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  20. jimbo

    If government run health care is such a crazy, outlandish idea – maybe we should get rid of other socialist, government run systems like the postal service, libraries, national defense, police and fire services, national parks, parks and recreation, public education, ...

    May 29, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  21. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    I am very fit and healthy, with no serious pre-existing or ongoing conditions. I pay $6,000 a year for an IPO with a $5,000 annual deductible that allows me one doctor visit every three months, with co-pays that have ranged from $48 to $188, depending on whether the doctor actually had to do anything while I was there. I recently put a Bandaid on a cut finger that probably should have had stitches because a dermatologist required a followup visit to refill a prescription for a minor skin problem and I didn't want to go three months without the medicine.

    I can't blame the insurance company–to stay profitable they have to provide the absolute minimum service I will tolerate with the highest premium. It's the American way–profit, not people. If you want better health care, just work harder, get luckier, and for God's sake, choose your parents wisely.

    May 29, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  22. ron

    It's about time that people start to come around on this issue. I have several Canadian friends that love their health care system. It will save money for all of us and the care will increase.
    RIP / GOP

    May 29, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  23. Ken in Pisgah Forest

    The French have the #1 health care system, the Germans #2, and the U.S. has #37. We should be looking to those two countries now. They get it right, and the people that live there wouldn't trade their system for ours for anything. Ex-pats living in those two countries who know both systems well say they don't care to return to the U.S. until the system is fixed.

    We need to wipe the slate clean and forget how we did it in the past and get going on a system that works. We know the French and German systems work, so we need to emulate them. The money is there; our employers are paying the tab now. The French pay about $0.60 on the dollar for better care than Americans get.

    Let's get it right this time.

    May 29, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  24. David Evan

    In a just society health care is a right, not an elective for those who a) are just plain rich and can afford it or b) can work and happen to have an employer pay for there care.

    Even with an employer paying for their care the deductions, exclusions, co-pays etc are so out of hand that you can still go broke if you have a dependent in need of care. If you happen to become disabled, forget it, you'll end up in bankruptcy even with a good disability package.

    May 29, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  25. eholl

    When I lived in the U.S. I was paying $300.00+ per month just for my asthma and allergy prescriptions and an additional sum each time I ended up in the hospital when I couldn't afford my prescriptions (AND I WAS INSURED)!!! I now live in Canada and pay very little for health care and have not had to wait in any of those dreaded lines that the Republicans keep scaring everyone with. It is about time we stopped listening to the tactics of fear from the Right or "wrong" as I would describe it.

    May 29, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
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