March 22nd, 2010
12:00 PM ET
13 years ago

CNN poll: Americans don't like health care bill

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption =" The Capitol dome on the eve of the House of Representatives’ health care reform votes."]Washington (CNN) - A majority of Americans have a dim view of the sweeping health care bill passed by the House, saying it gives Washington too much clout and won't do much to reduce their own health care costs or federal deficits, according to a new poll released Monday.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll found that 59 percent of those surveyed opposed the bill, and 39 percent favored it. All of the interviews were conducted before the House voted Sunday night, but the contents of the bill were widely known.

In addition, 56 percent said the bill gives the government too much involvement in health care; 28 percent said it gives the government the proper role and 16 percent said it leaves Washington with an inadequate role.

On the question of costs, 62 percent said the bill increases the amount of money they personally spend on health care; 21 percent said their costs would remain the same and 16 percent said they would decrease.

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The poll's results about the bill's fiscal impact were particularly stark: 70 percent of respondents said they believed deficits would go up because of the bill; 17 percent felt they would stay the same and 12 percent said they would go down.

After more than a year of partisan debate, the House voted 219-212 in favor of a bill that the Senate had passed on Christmas Eve. President Obama is expected to sign it on Tuesday.

The measure constitutes the biggest expansion of federal health care guarantees since Medicare and Medicaid were enacted more than four decades ago. The House also approved a series of amendments to the bill through a separate so-called reconciliation bill. The Senate, which must pass the reconciliation measure for the full package to take effect, is expected to vote this week.

According to a preliminary estimate by the Congressional Budget Office, the overall reform legislation would cost $940 billion over the course of a decade. Offsetting provisions would reduce deficits by $143 billion in the first 10 years and by more than $1 trillion in the following decade.

The CNN poll also suggests that public opposition to health care will not necessarily be a boon to Republicans in the 2010 midterm elections in Congress.

Roughly one in five of respondents who said they opposed the bill did so because it was not liberal enough, and those people are unlikely to vote Republican. Take them out of the picture and opposition to the bill because it is too liberal is 43 percent.

"The Democrats have another advantage - most Americans also trust Barack Obama more than the GOP on health care," said Keating Holland, CNN's polling director. "That gives the president an opportunity - and seven months - to make the affirmative case for the health care bill."

The survey was conducted on March 19-21 through telephone interviews with 1,030 adult Americans. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Filed under: CNN Polls • Health care • Popular Posts
soundoff (318 Responses)
  1. call me crazy

    The majority of the people were in favor of health care reform before they took out the public option. That was done to gain republican support, and of course it didn't. Now the people who wanted the PO don't like the bill and no one is happy with it.

    I think it is a good compromise, and I believe people will come back around and support it in the long run.

    March 22, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. bigcat1967

    keep on piling it on Obama. What's another 10 trillion added to the deficit. We'll all pay for this. The Chinese are saving our butts right now by buying up the T-Bills – but hey Mr. Obama – what will happen if the Chinese stopped buying them???

    March 22, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. Texas Doc

    Its not a "majority" of Americans, its a "majority of Fox...I mean CNN polltakers. NIce try though. It passed, deal with it.

    March 22, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. jeff jackson, alabama

    The bill was never posted on the internet.
    Obama promised Americans would have
    access to all info on bills while he was
    running for President.
    The Bible is on the net. The book War and Peace
    is on the net. The health care bill was never
    available to the American people.

    March 22, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  5. dan smith

    I don't know of anyone who trusts Obama on anything especially health care.

    March 22, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. The Unsub

    I wasn't polled so it is not valid. I support the bill.

    March 22, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. dan smith

    Democrat Party is the new Taliban.

    March 22, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. dan smith

    Get a job welfare queens.

    March 22, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  9. Voted4HealthCare

    Interesting, the Wall Street Journal poll found 45% disapproved and 46% approved of health care. Gallup had similarly even results.

    Several polls also showed the majority of Americans wanted a public option, and this bill can at least be a foundation to add a public-option provision going forward.

    March 22, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  10. rachel


    It is quite clear that our elected congressmen and women have forgotten who they work for. Some of them are under the impression that they work for the president instead of their consituents and some of them are under the impression that they work for themselves getting sweet heart deals and perks. I am thinking of voting against every incumbent in my state and district.

    March 22, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. Clay

    If journalists would tell the entire story rather than managing the fight like a Saturday night brawl, then maybe the American people would have a better idea of the benefits this bill will bring them. Instead, you continue to forcast doom for the Democrats – the majority by the way – while expecting what? Success for the Republicans when it was their "flawed" policies that got us into this mess in the first plac? A little truth and perspective would be nice for a change. Perhaps you in the media might consider that sometime.

    March 22, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. amy

    that's because most of americans are stupid!!

    the civilized world is laughing loud!!!!!!!

    Europe has had universal healt care for 100 years!!!!

    March 22, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. dan smith

    Now all you IDIOTS that supported this IGNORANT bill can watch the economy really go in the tank and you can be happy knowing that it was all your fault.

    March 22, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  14. LIP

    The majority of Americans don't agree with Congress...That may be the case, but what we Americans have learned through the years is that Congress doesn't listen to it's constituents. They march to a different drummer and think only of feathering their nest.

    March 22, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  15. Felly

    Forget about this poll. When people see the benefits of this health insurance reform, they will embrace it. In 2001, my premium was $100 for a family of 5. Today, I'm paying $600 while my employer matches it with $600 totaling $1200. Right now, it's mandatory to have auto insurance in Texas. In fact, my car has a better insurance than I do. Shame on the GOP– Obstructionist Party! They care about the unborn baby while discriminating the baby after birth. They have their priorities backward. What a hypocrisy!

    March 22, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  16. rick

    CNN has become the mouth of the GOP. How many people were asked this question. I for one support health care, and no one asked me.

    March 22, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  17. Fed Up

    Does it matter what the American people want? No. The bigwigs in Washington know more than we do. They feel more than we do. They feel our pain. NOT!!! They don't pay their taxes. Vote 'em in. Vote 'em out!

    March 22, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  18. Stacie

    This poll just proves that many Americans aren't well informed. The CBO clearly stated it will REDUCE the deficit.

    Some people will pay more for health insurance because they will be able to get BETTER insurance: comprehensive medical insurance vs major medical only.

    March 22, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. Ashley

    Bush said he didn't care about polls, why should Obama?

    March 22, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. Joan

    It would be interesting to know what parts of the country were called for this poll, which red or blue states, what time of day the calls were made, exactly how the questions were asked, the ages of the respondents, whether you made an allowance for the majority of cell phone users and whether the person who conducted the poll leans right of left. It is so obvious which wasy the journalists lean when you post stories on this ticker. It is kind of interesting to look at all the polls on sites that list them all. Gallop is the most unbiased and Rasmussen and Fox are so biased they are not even credible. Once people really get to hear the truth about the bill and how it will help them, do a broad, fair and unbiased poll which would be credible.

    March 22, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  21. Dan Holiday

    Shows you who the democrats really represent. Themselves! Nice job guys. Way to listen to the people.

    March 22, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  22. dmrci

    Let's see, the pharmaceutical sector gets hit with a $2.3 billion tax, the medical device sector gets a $3 billion tax, and insurance companies are expected to waive all pre-existing limits and caps and we're supposed to believe our premiums won't increase? I think we'll be wishing for the days when we thought a 30% increase was ridiculous. I'm guessing we'll see insurance companies dropping out of the medical business in waves. Hope they accounted for the hundreds of thousands of the newly unemployed that will be created.

    March 22, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  23. Adalbert

    Those Americans who do not like this HC bill have been brainwashed by fox and the republicans or they work for the health insurance cartel.
    It is not a perfect bill, none of them are, but it is a good start for the working class Americans.

    March 22, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  24. kem

    This poll clearly shows that the white house must do a better job communicating the details of the health care reform plan. It isnt enough to generalize the plan and how it will affect us, some people will have to be "spoon fed" the information because they dont trust him. The only way he can convice the people is to implement the plan and it begins to work. He did the right thing.

    March 22, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  25. GI Joe

    I like it, but I'm never polled.

    CNNs polls don't mean anything. NOTHING

    March 22, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
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