August 5th, 2009
06:00 AM ET
12 years ago

CNN Poll: Americans split on Obama's health care proposals

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A CNN Poll indicates that only 3 in 10 Americans think President Obama's health care plan will help their families."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Americans appear split over President Barack Obama's health care reform proposals, according to a new national poll.

Fifty percent of those questioned in CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday morning say they support the president's plans, with 45 percent opposed.

The results indicate a generational divide.

"Obama's plan is most popular among younger Americans and least popular among senior citizens," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "A majority of Americans over the age of 50 oppose Obama's plan; a majority of those under 50 support it."

The poll's release comes as lawmakers go back to their home districts and states for summer recess. The House of Representatives is already on break and the Senate heads home at the end of the week. Some lawmakers are holding town hall meetings or other public forums on health care reform over the next few weeks, where voters will get a chance to speak out about the various proposals for change. The poll indicates that seven in 10 Americans say they're very or somewhat likely to attend such events.

"Nearly half of those who oppose the Obama plan say they are more likely to attend town hall meetings to express their views on health care; only 37 percent of those who support Obama's plan are very likely to attend a public forum on that issue," adds Holland.

The poll indicates that only three in 10 of all Americans think the president's health care proposals will help their families. Another 44 percent feel they won't benefit but that other families will be helped by the president's plans, and one in five say no one will be helped.

"Less than a quarter of Americans with private health insurance think that Obama's proposals would help them personally. Most people on Medicare and Medicaid also don't think that the Obama plan will help them," says Holland.

The survey suggests that around seven out of 10 Americans think that major structural changes are necessary to reduce health care costs or provide insurance coverage to all Americans. At the same time, more than eight out of 10 people are satisfied with their own health care and nearly three out of four are happy with their own insurance.

In any health care system, tough decisions that affect individual patients - such as which people get certain treatments and which treatments are too expensive or ineffective - must be made. The poll suggests that Americans are split on who they prefer to make such choices, with 40 percent saying it should be the insurance companies and an equal amount feeling that the government should make the call.

The battle over health care is registering with people across the country. According to the survey, more than half of all Americans have strong feelings regarding the health care debate, with about a third saying they strongly oppose Obama's plans and 23 percent strongly in favor.

"On issues like this, intensity of opinion matters as much as numbers. Opponents of the president's health care reform seem to feel more intensely about it than Obama's supporters," says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Friday through Monday, with 1,136 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Click here for full results (.pdf)

Filed under: Health care • President Obama
soundoff (196 Responses)
  1. The black spider

    Oh yes CNN also in the tank of Big Insurances. Here comes the forged polls to make everybody believe people are against Health care reform.
    We all know the trick. Very sad too many ignorants and selfish people in this country. They don't care about others as long as they can get rich that's all matters.
    You can continue on this path and down in the road you will cry on the end.

    August 5, 2009 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  2. Joe Terrogano

    Opposition to health care reform is being funded by insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Scare tactics and lies are meant to create doubt in you. If you are happy with your insurance, plan on paying higher contributions and drug costs in the future. There will be higher deductibles. More high risk people will be denied insurance. Why? Money and greed. We will aslo foot the bills for the uninsured. Children with poor health care will become adults in poor health. These corporations are no different than the mortgage companies, credit card companies, investment companies, all of which put us in this mess. Remember the bonuses for AIG. Wake up America!!!!

    August 5, 2009 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  3. nycoordinator

    And what was the methodology behind your poll?
    What were the percentages of Republicans v. Democrats?
    Methinks it was highly biased toward Democrats to get even these results.

    Democrats are out in the streets protesting Obamacare almost as much as Republicans. The Tea Party movement is truly bipartisan.
    The efforts by the DNC to smear Tea Party Patriots as a 'mob' are going to have blowback in 2010 like you've never seen.

    August 5, 2009 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  4. Ancient Texan

    This will be the beginning of the end of Medicare/Medicade for Senior Citizens and they know it. Imagine trying to buy a new health care policy at age 70 or beyond. The Medicare program is government run and is in disaster mode. Do you think government taking over all healthcare will fare any better?

    August 5, 2009 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  5. Henry Miller

    Only 16% of the population are dissatisfied with the quality of their health care.

    Only 23% are dissatisfied with their insurance.

    Neither of those numbers justify spending some multiple of a trillion bucks of money we don't have. The problems in health care just aren't that profound and don't justify a huge, expensive, intrusion of government, an intrusion which will likely make even more people dissatisfied with the quality of their health care and a federal, and therefore insanely bureaucratic, insurance system.

    August 5, 2009 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  6. caminito

    The poll results show an incredible egoism of the seniors. Because it does not improve their position, the beneficiaries of the present system oppose a plan which will make available health care to 40,000,000 low income citizens.

    Shame on them. Obama should ignore them except on the issue that more steps must be implemented to reduce the costs, as the use of generics where they are equivalent to the 10 times more expensive names (as Lipitor! or Crestor) and including eliminating some absurd perks of the present system as not medically justified plastic and the high percentage of other innecessary surgery.

    Regarding the "intensity" of the opposition: it is due to generous funding of interest groups, directly and indirectly to so called "conservative" organizations.

    August 5, 2009 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  7. annie s

    Americans are split because the Republicans and the insurance companies have done a fantastic job of spreading lies and fear. The truth is that even those Americans with private insurance NEED reform because the for-profit insurers grow fat with treatment denials, rationing and recissions and no one can be sure they will be properly covered if a catastrophic or chronic illness befalls them. Only a robust public option (a public option is not the socialized medicine the fear mongers want you to think it is) will create competition for the for profit insurers and ultimately drive down costs.

    August 5, 2009 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  8. Loubo

    50/50. Yeah right. Pelosi must have written and conducted the poll.

    August 5, 2009 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  9. Cindy PA

    The American people aren’t split; we want no part of Government run health care. Government run health care will be the last nail in the coffin for our health system. The government has never been able to run anything in a cost effective, efficient manner. The teleprompter president his amateur hour administration have no real improvement for the American people. We have the Democratic Party in Congress driving this nation into bankruptcy.

    Depressing being an American under the Obama administration.

    August 5, 2009 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  10. Sam Sixpack

    GWB must love BHO. The way things are going, GWB will eventually look like a genius.

    August 5, 2009 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  11. Fred

    Man, is CNN in the bag for Obama or what???

    August 5, 2009 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  12. Peoples Voice

    This poll just reflects the effects of what spending millions of dollars per day to spread lies can do

    The health industry is doing everything they can to continue to be the death industry. We will be the ones who will lose if they win.

    August 5, 2009 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  13. truthsayer

    Americans are so afraid of change they vote against their best interest.
    A country that lives in fear is no home of the brave

    August 5, 2009 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  14. John

    Its the same old story, those of us who work will pay for those who are too lazy to work.

    August 5, 2009 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  15. Dana

    The only ones that are acting stupidly are the desparate, hateful, divider, conservatives!!! They never offer a solution but they are always screaming and acting ignorant!!

    August 5, 2009 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  16. joe blow

    so the people who are already on socialized medicine (medicare) don't want health care reform. makes sense to me. not.

    August 5, 2009 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  17. beevee

    Once the public understands the longterm impact of the health care reforms they will be more in favor of supporting it. Some how we need to stop the fear mongering tactics of the special interest groups who are, for selfish reasons, opposing any reforms in the health care system. If we care for the affordable health care of our future generations we will have to support the proposed reforms of the administartion.

    August 5, 2009 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  18. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Based on what I see in state run media feedback, 40% would support him if he were caught in bed with Bambi, so this is not big news. You have got to remember that the same 40% pay no taxes and don't work, spending their days watching Oprah. Those of us who actually work and pay taxes are being labeled and liableled by the dear leaders administration as radical by the administration and his toadies and of course by the state run media. Called insignificant and demeaned. I hope he keeps up trying to take our free speech rights away, it exposes him and the thugocracy he has created for what they really are.

    August 5, 2009 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  19. Norman T. Stone

    No! That policeman violated Mr. Gates rights and should be fired. His action (the policeman) is why I like many African Americans view policemen as a thread. If I was Mr. Gates I would take legal action on him and the department and seek millions for this violation as well as demand that the entire police department take classes in the constitution as well as Cambridge Massachusetts law. Why couldn’t he just leave the house once Gates identified himself and that this was his residents? The president acted like a concerned leader who is aware of this type of problem and stepped-up politically to address it.

    August 5, 2009 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  20. Duck Fallas

    Opponents are gullible idiots that believe right wing lies and scare tactics. America is full of idiots, that's how we got the retarded cowboy for eight years.

    August 5, 2009 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  21. ran

    Another flaw survey. I do not know a single person who has a land line anymore. So as someone who will never get a chance to be in theses type surveys let me say it here: I want a single payer non-profit health care system. My health is not for profit.

    August 5, 2009 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  22. sue

    this cannot become a political issue. healthcare is really only about peoples lives. My career was always in medicine and I can state that the costs of providing care do rise over time, but the cost of even basic insurance has risen much faster than the cost of providing that service. We have to try to see the faces behind this debate. The children, the pregnant mother, the elderly. We are all deserving of reasonably priced health care. Having been a patient in a county health service has shown me just how horribly those who are too poor to pay for health insurance are treated. There certainly must be debate on this issue, but at no time should it be political.

    August 5, 2009 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  23. Ron

    where I live people are brought to jail for any complaint that someone has against them. They are brought to jail and locked up then they have to post bail which usually takes over 24 hrs. When they go to court the person who made the complaint never shows up. So they wind up paying bail, court cost and losing work time and money. It is all a scam for money for the courts.

    August 5, 2009 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  24. Kathy Johnson

    "In any health care system, tough decisions that affect individual patients — such as which people get certain treatments and which treatments are too expensive or ineffective — must be made. The poll suggests that Americans are split on who they prefer to make such choices, with 40 percent saying it should be the insurance companies and an equal amount feeling that the government should make the call." What about the DOCTOR deciding what treatment is necessary for the individual. Don't you see that we can't all be lumped into a category, we are different, situational, and the minute you take away the patient's right to decide and the doctors right to treat ,and give it the government ,is the minute that you are no longer a person but merely a catagory on a list of treat and don't treat. Boy I can't wait to go see the doctor in this system!!!

    August 5, 2009 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  25. Matt

    Thank God the Republicans are getting the facts out and informing the American People.

    The more that learn the facts, the more are against it!

    August 5, 2009 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
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