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. SLM

    Jimbo – How efficiently run is the Post Office? You want your Healthcare system run like that? Wrong mail, wrong medicine, what's the difference? Break time!

    May 29, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  2. i ready to move from the usa

    I have a friend who has type 2 diabetes and she is about 180 lbs overweight. she refuse to change her eating habits everything has to be fried because that is how her grandmother did it and she refuses to exercise because why should she and she is pissed because we don't have national health care so she can have her medicine for free and we have to pay for it because she is to lazy and selfish to help herself

    May 29, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  3. AJP

    Of course the Republicans will cry like babies.

    The Republican health car plan is very simple, "get sick and die.

    May 29, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  4. Ken in Pisgah Forest

    For those who think they have control over their health plans, think again. If you buy your own insurance, you probably have some control. For most, it is our employers who control our health plans and pay most of the bill. If you think they aren't trying to squeeze every dime out of their plans, you are delusional. Employer provided health care will be a thing of the past unless the government mandates it, and then these companies won't be competitive because no other country requires employers to provide insurance. When you are at the bottom of the heap, you need to look at what those ahead of you are doing, because obviously you are not doing it right.

    May 29, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  5. Jackie

    If you complain about your health care now, what do you think the government is going to you really believe the government is going to give you more and better care? Please, don't be so naive.

    May 29, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. fedup

    The government has not demonstrated that it can effectively run any program it is currently responsible for. The absolute last thing we Americans should do is hand more money over to a government that has mismanaged the programs, responsibilities, and money we have entrusted to it.
    If Americans truly want coverage for the uninsured I think someone should start some type of nonprofit organization for health care. If the nonprofit was run well I'm sure many Americans would be more than willing to donate money to helping others.
    But believing that the inept government politicians will effectively run a national health care systems is just naive.

    May 29, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  7. No Incumbents 2010


    I'm glad you cleared that up about the private sector being the problem. Many people may have thought the problem withSocial Security, Medicaid and Medicare is that there are alot of baby boomers now and there are not enough people paying into the system, or that the government has used S.S. funds for other purposes than what it was originally intended. Some might even had thought that medical bills are high due to the cost of research and development of drugs and other treatments, or frivolous lawsuits or something like that. I appreciate you enlightening us all on the true reasons. I am looking forward to government healthcare and I'm sure it will be as fast and efficient as the Postal Service and as cost effective as all other government entities.

    May 29, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  8. Donna

    Question...Why did Natasha Richardson have to come to the U.S. for care?

    May 29, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  9. ds

    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?
    This is the most amazing thing about this discussion. People repeating these sort of myths like they knew what they are talking about

    May 29, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  10. Mike Dallas

    Just returned from a 10 day trip to Ireland and the folks I talked to all thought their health care was excellent.

    Someone on this blog posted the listings and while I cannot vouch for all of them I do know that France is #1 in satisfaction. Ireland appears at 19.

    We are at 37?

    How about we keep the insurance companies as is and employer provided health care. However, if you make minimum wage or a company that does not supply health care the government will subsidize you so you can purchase a policy from an existing insurance company. The unemployed could be subsidized 65% and keep stay on COBRA until re-employed. Every one else not covered could be moved to Medicaid.

    Not a perfect solution but if we all work TOGETHER we ought to be able to get something going that will cover everyone.

    May 29, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  11. catmom

    Insurance companies have been the ones making the decisions on what care a person receives, what medicine a person takes, how long they can stay in the hospital and what follow up treatment they receive all along and with an eye for profit only. Waits to see a specialist can be 2-3 months . Treatment for illnesses can be denied if a person can't come up with at least a down payment for their care. Those of you who think you can receive care for an illness by just going to an emergency room have never been in the position of needing ongoing medical care without having insurance. They stabilize you and dump you off where ever they can. Many hospitals in this country have been known to dump homeless people in shelters or on the street.

    Despite what Republicans want you to believe, the Medicare system has worked for seniors and the eligible disabled. They choose their doctors just like anyone else. They pay their premiums and the co-pays. Part D prescription drug coverage would have worked much better and been cost effective if the Bush administration had negotioted the cost of the prescription drugs but we know that would have taken profits away from the pharmicutical companies.

    May 29, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  12. No Incumbents 2010

    Anyone who has ever been in the military knows that Motrin and Cepacol cures everything. Looking forward to government run healthcare.

    May 29, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  13. Steve

    I certainly would rather have government involved in my healthcare than corporations who make profits by denying me services.

    Oooh, I'm a big scary socialist.

    May 29, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  14. arithmetic is liberal

    Enough May 29th, 2009 5:44 pm ET

    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!!

    Not to sound uncaring but please use your head; your mother was over 65. Everyone over 65 in the US dies under Medicare coverage. Unless they're Dracula.

    And frankly, I'd LOVE for US healthcare to work as well as the Postal Service. I put a 44 cent stamp on a letter to my sister in Chicago, and it arrives a day later. If healthcare worked even HALF that well witht aht much consistency, then please sign me up on the dotted line.

    If you're going to make the Post Office to Hospital comparison, at least be honest: If you translate it, it would cost you about $1,000 to mail a letter – $900 for the insurance-spiked stamp, and a $100 co-pay for using an envelope.

    May 29, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  15. Ken in Pisgah Forest

    It was nice to hear from a Canadian or two. Yes, what we hear about the system in Canada and England is distorted. It's good to get the opinion of someone from those countries. I have friends and relatives in other countries and they all think we are nuts if we think our system is better than theirs.

    May 29, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  16. HEIDI

    I can see where NHC would work. It does in Europe, but they consentrate more on preventative care as opposed to treating the aliment once is has already occured. If we here in America focused more on being Healthy and using the doctor for only annual visits. Health care cost would drop and insurance companies and drug companies would have no choice but to fall in line.

    May 29, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  17. phoenix86

    Uh, I am sory for my previous posts. My alzheimer is getting worse and worse, and my wife just told me that I forget to take my medication for today. Sory folks, please!

    May 29, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  18. WeThePeople

    A government health care plan available as an option to choose from is necessary – if for no other reason than to provide competition and keep the private insurance company providers honest with rates competitively priced.

    A government plan option will give we health care consumers a better chance of an apples-to -pples comparison of pricing, coverage and the available options. The private health insurance companies will have to be competitive or their potential customers will flock to the government plan option.

    May 29, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  19. Carlos

    It is like every other poll cnn runs it is slanted to the left so bad the crack of their ass is sideways. The nobama goons will have taken over everything by the time the dumb dem lemmings wake up it will be too late.

    May 29, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  20. Brad, California

    I'm all for guaranteeing health care for Americans, but not for guaranteeing it to every illegal that sucks our system dry. They have no right to be in this country, they have no right to have even basic access to our medical, education or any other system that average Americans can't even afford.

    Look around you. Look at the chaos our country is in right now. Haven't you already seen the results of greed? And haven't you already begun paying for it?

    May 29, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  21. Chris

    Not sure where anyone gets that notion. What we "AMERICANS" want is better health care at a cheaper cost for all "AMERICANS"and exclude those non-citizens that could also be called aliens, illegal aliens, etc. Stop making the American working taxpayers foot the bill for everyone.

    May 29, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  22. Ray Fisher

    America is held hostage by business no matter the industry, without the government everyone would be issued credit at birth and commence paying. The government right or wrong tempers business somewhat because as we know from experience business must be regulated or the greed makes them unmanageable. The people supposedly regulate government with our votes if we vote. Who knows if our nation can survive at this point???

    May 29, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  23. Malacoda

    It is obvious the right-wingers pillorying European healthcare models have no first hand knowledge of them whatsoever, but are relying on partisan media sources for their information, or are being actively disingenuous. Sad really. I am a New Yorker living in Barcelona for 4 years now. My girlfriend is Czech and is provided for under EU law. She has had to make several doctor visits recently and has naturally complained about having to wait a few days to get in to see the doctor, but overall is very satisfied with the system. Before I typed this I read aloud for her several comments by Republican posters describing the plight of Europeans are with their socialized medicine. At first she was incredulous, then actually angry at the fantastic ignorance. Get out of the echo chamber, actually go abroad and speak to people before you speak such utter nonsense.

    Turn of Fox, walk out the door and see; the rest of the world's not as treacherous or horrid (nor is America so perfect) as you seem to think.

    May 29, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  24. Liz in Seattle

    All you people who are afraid of the government being in charge of health care, ask yourselves who is in charge of it now. The insurance companies! And what would their primary motivation be? Profit! They make money by taking money from us (and our employers) and then denying claims and refusing payment for preventative care.

    Is this who we want to be making our health care decisions? The people who benefit from NOT giving us health care? I'll take the government over them any day.

    May 29, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  25. Gerry

    If the government runs health care it is not going to cost less. In the long run it will cost more and there will many more restriction on what services you are allowed.

    May 29, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
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