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

CNN poll: Americans don't like health care bill

 The Capitol dome on the eve of the House of Representatives’ health care reform votes.

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. Robert

    There are so many obvious ways that americans prove they don't know what they are talking about. What is the point of polling them? They constantly vote against their own self-interest. This isn't surprising, especially considering the current climate of fear and anger being supported from the right.

    March 22, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  2. Susan

    I don't know who CNN is polling..oh yea I do..Republicans. I am so sick of them all!!!

    March 22, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  3. tina

    as a nurse, I believe this "reform" will be a disaster

    March 22, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  4. Seth

    We are in a war now... it is no longer a struggle, but an all out war.

    I hate to use the term Civil War, there can only be one of those.

    But perhaps the term Political War will suffice for now. It is the Progressives against the Centrists and the Conservatives.

    It will come out all right for the good of our Country, because history has always been on the good verses evil side of things.

    The passion of this political War, won't spill any blood, Thank God,
    but it will spill over into political ugliness the likes of which this nation has never seen. If conservatism loses this political war, there will not be anything left worth fighting for.

    March 22, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  5. Mr. Moderate

    Still lower than the percent of people who wanted the US to get out of Iraq. Of course the president then was considered an honorable man who stuck to his principles, while the poll respondents were condidered borderline traitors who advocated surrender. Why the different standards for this president? Hmmmmmm?

    March 22, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  6. ted

    I applaud the democrats for having the intestinal fortitude to pass healthcare reform. This is a great day for the uninsured, the previously uninsured and uninsurable, the people who get jerked around by healthcare companies by getting dropped from coverage or premiums go sky high. The Grand Obstructionist Party made it abundantly clear they dislike the American people and I hope they suffer in future elections.

    March 22, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. Jim

    Interestingly, this poll doesn't speak to the bills actual strengths or weakness, but it does indicate who has been running the better PR war.

    It would be good if they posted a break down of reasons why people opposed the bill. Last time I was a poll that did this, it showed a significant part disapproval group did so because the bill was not progressive enough. I'm curious to see if that is still true.

    March 22, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. Jeff

    I only wish the bill was better. Every other industrialized nation has a for of universal healthcare, we are so far behind. This is a step in the right direction, but we further reform.

    March 22, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. lovable liberal

    The truth about these polls:
    – Americans don't want their health care to contain the Republican lies.
    – Americans do want the actual content the Democrats put into the health care bill.

    March 22, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  10. Like-a-ton-of-bricks...

    The Dems health care bill will sink under its own weight further eroding the system with higher costs and less quality services and perhaps throwing more insured off the system than the 32Million
    Pres Obama claims will get on it.

    As we saw after the passing of the bill by a narrow margin 219-212 there was not much rejoicing by Dems in the chamber. So the Dems together with Pres Obama claim they can govern..Really? with their majority in Congress and at the helm in the White House all they came up with is a very, very bad half-measured bill and bipartisan in opposition Only....

    March 22, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. Receiver of Many Guests

    Well, well, bravo for the Dems, looks like a party is gonna be thrown but I wouldn't be all too excited if I were them. But it sure seems to me that we, Conservatives, are gonna be more influential and persuasive than ever before, arguably since the 9/11 attacks, though we got national Security in our pockets. Good for them, it is in some way a W for them but only time(or decades) will tell how far this bill will go and can, good luck.

    And for the record, they are baby killers, I hope he would have hit em with a stick just like back in the day in the head, then we'll see who's more divisive and heartless in this game.

    But is good times, is nice outside, the bad people are out(stupid cops, I told em), the kids are out so the spring is coming out! Let's all rejoice and give thanks to what the lord gave us and that's a life. Good luck and remember, put a smile in your face! 🙂

    March 22, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    Haven't blogged on this thread for months. I see CNN is still catering to it's big business lobbyists ...

    If by 59%, CNN is referencing the same old same old polls which have been circulating for months, I would suggest that CNN update it's polling and demographics lists, as well as utilizing updated and informative questionnaires.

    March 22, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  13. Carl Justus

    I for one like the bill. It is time someone besides the rich and members of congress, and most public employees get health insurance, along with those who work for major corporations.

    March 22, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  14. Lynn

    I found it hard to believe the people surveyed actually know what's in the bill. As someone who watches C-span's Washington Journal every morning, I am amazed that many of those who call in in opposition have no understanding whatsoever what's in the bill.....yesterday during the hearings several people called in to had VA care, another – both her and her husband were on Medicare, another on Medicaid, and they're all complaining about the "gov't take-over." Or others who have no insurance whatsoever complain about being forced to buy insurance, yet fail to understand that when they require emergency care, we more often than not, end up paying for it.

    March 22, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  15. I am the Great and Omnipotent Wizard of Rush and I Say . . .

    Churchill was right.
    "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to gets its pants on."

    And the republicans are masters of the art of lying.

    March 22, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. aliou

    I like it way better than the alternative: "do nothing or tax breaks for the rich and more wars".
    I like it anyway. I am not in love with the healthcare reform bill because it wasn't a single payer system.

    March 22, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |

    Like most polls of health care, this one is still polling on the lies that the American people have been fed by the GOP. Wait until the American people really understand what's in the bill, like small companies get a tax break, pre-existing conditions are gone, lifetime maximums are gone, there are no death panels (never was), you now get to deal with your doctor about what is needed instead of the insurance company telling you what they will pay for, your children can stay on your insurance policy until they are 26 years old, you still have the same insurance you had yesterday, there has been no government takeover of anything and Medicare benefits have not been cut. Oh and let's not forget that the deficit will actually go down. And what will the GOP do once the Tea Baggers find out they've been used and lied to by the GOP, not to mention the rest of the American people?

    March 22, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. stevetall

    Another worthless poll. This means absolutely nothing.

    March 22, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  19. francesN

    Most Americans never liked the idea of Medicare either.

    No one likes taking taxes from 'many' and giving it to a 'few'

    You don't do it because it's nice.

    You do it because it's the RIGHT thing, the MORAL thing, to do.

    March 22, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  20. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    This is one of the most worthy pollings I've ever read until the truth of consequences is unveiled in approximately a year or two. There will be a favorable spike in the polls for healthcare reform.

    March 22, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  21. Karen

    will you survey the same respondents 10 year from now?

    what about opinions of the uninsured? Has any body heard their voice recently from CNN?

    March 22, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  22. billincalif

    YOU'VE BEEN LURED BY THE snake in the grass (a.k.a. SATAN) I hope the apple that you've chosen to bite from doesn't bite you back. Be sure to take that 'Executive Order" with you as you stand before your maker!

    March 22, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  23. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Its a great day.Limbaugh is crying and whining like a baby without his bottle of oxys.hahaha

    March 22, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  24. Tell the Truth

    I have lost all respect for Wolf Blitzer and CNN. Republicans already have FOX news getting their lies out. They will not like CNN or Wolf any more for spreading their lies. Republicans are using you. You are all RACISTS. Tell the truth!

    March 22, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  25. Ash

    So what? I'd imagine more than 59% of Americans don't accept evolution either. Just because it's a majority from a sampling (not sure from where they sampled) doesn't mean that the majority is right, only that the majority feels a certain way.

    Americans don't seem to like paying taxes either, but they certainly enjoy having the fire department come when there's a fire, sending their kids to public schools, using interstate highways, traffic lights, food inspections, etc.

    We are (were?) the only country in the developed world to not have some sort of universal coverage, and our statistics in terms of health, quality of life, etc. certainly show it. Not to mention, we're also the only country in the developed world to allow pharmaceuticals to advertise, on which they spend billions which could be lowering costs of medicine.

    March 22, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
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