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. Steve - Michigan

    GOOD NEWS about Obama-care!

    Most of it won't be in effect until 2014 -

    The World ends in December 2012.

    March 22, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  2. Think

    CNN should be quizzing Americans on the details of the bill, but I guess that would insult ignorant people, and devalue the poll results. Bottom line: people generally don't know what they like or dislike, because they don't have a clue.

    March 22, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  3. blden

    At this time, the CNN Quick Poll says that 42% of over 200,000 people are in favor of the health care bill, 41% oppose it.

    Those numbers will change as the 17% that are 'unsure' figure out that they will be better off with anyone other that insurance companies making decisions about their health care.

    March 22, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. Liz

    the people who are buying the republisaurs' lies don't like the bill. the people who actuall understand what's in it and the good it will do and the even better things it will lead to like it just fine. i'm so grateful to the Democrats who showed they're statesmen, not just politicians, and voted for it. and to answer Sister Sarah, that hope-y, change-y thing is working out great, actually! Keep up the great work, President Obama! and to the rethugs who wanted to destroy his presidency at the cost of thousands of lives, i hope the good people of this country vote every last one of you traitors out of office in november.

    March 22, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  5. James Breiner

    I will not vote for any REP. or Sen. that voted for this cluster fk of a Bill,and will make it known far and wide.The people didn't want this and it shows how far out of touch our Government is. Vote the old out and younger blood in also term limits.

    March 22, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  6. T'SAH from Virginia

    Come on now – who's POLL???

    This is hard to believe!! What 1,000 people were polled? This is the same polls that ran all during President Obama's campaign and they ended up being WRONG!!!

    March 22, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  7. Sam Rose

    Pre-existing conditions will not be covered for 4 years? how many people will die because of this in the next four years? this is a crime–why couldn't that start NOW???

    March 22, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. Marie MD

    The reason might be because there's no public option which most Americans wanted. There's still time to fix it now that it finally passed.
    Has limberger packed his bags yet? Having boner almost in tears, like that other loser beck, was worth every second of this long fight. Anyone who has ever lost their health insurance and/or had to pay Cobra's $1,000 plus fees a month embraces this bill.

    March 22, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  9. haren

    where is the government involved in this bill?
    stop talking and taking poll asking about govt take over and its involvement.
    Without mandate insurance co. can not cover patient with chronic health.

    March 22, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  10. haren

    Half the american voters does not understand this bill because of the media.

    March 22, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  11. Bill SAnford

    I am sure CNN did not expect this much of a gap...

    The "in the tank for obama" cnn rarely lets a chance go by to not plug liberal causes. This one must have backfired.

    March 22, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. BJ

    This is not MSNBC says and I trust them more than you.

    March 22, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  13. stop the nonsense

    It must be how the question is asked becuase last week, this same ticker said 46 percent approved it and 42 percent opposed. How did that change so drastically in 4 days?
    Why in these articles don't they tell us what was asked instead of paraphrasing them?

    March 22, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  14. Bob in Pa.

    All notorious assassins have been remembered by history using their full proper names. Today we now can add Barack Hussein Obama and Nancy Patricia Pelosi as the persons responsible for the pre-meditated slaughter of American Freedom.

    March 22, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  15. travis

    The poll is completely useless. Please let us know if the first question asked of the respondents was whether or not they in fact read the bill. All 2000 plus pages of it. I would be willing to bet the answer is no for each and every one of them. Without reading the bill, the "American public" that supposedly does not want the bill is relying solely on soundbites heard in 30 second commercial spots. I'm not arguing for or against, because I have not read the bill either. I vote for my elected officials and hope that they read the bill and are voting based upon facts not soundbites, but the politics involved make me and many of my peers naseous.

    March 22, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    It's a good thing that people's *opinion* of the health care bill don't affect the *facts* of the bill. It's too bad such a poor job has been done to inform people about how the bill will help them.

    March 22, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  17. John

    Those who hold a dim view of the bill are merely dim themselves. Read, try to understand even a shred of factual information regarding the policy and then come to a conclusion. I highly doubt that 59% of Americans are making over 500k a year. In addition, CNN fails to break down this 59% into people who think it's not liberal enough as opposed to too liberal. Instead, it's chunked into an ambiguous sum of 59%, which most people will attribute to Republican talking points, since they've pretty much done everything in their power to stop the bill in the first place. A large percentage of people are upset because it doesn't include a public option. Get it right CNN, for once. But I suppose that it's too much for you to break down a poll into three separate columns instead of two.

    March 22, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  18. Will-South Dakota

    This American likes the Bill!. It's about time we had real reform instead of talk talk and more talk. This is a NO more abuse by the insurance companies and notice to drug companies to stop ripping off Americans.
    When does Rush Limbaugh leave for Costa Rica????

    March 22, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  19. John L. - NYC

    And yet our Congressional leaders went ahead with it anyway without taking an approach to do this in pieces that would be more palatable to the American people. They must feel like they know what's best for us, rather than representing our interests and what we elected them for.

    March 22, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  20. colby

    Great, Healthcare has passed. Of course, like many, many unemployed Americans, I'm not sure how that is going to put food on the table or keep the eviction notice from arriving.

    Bill Clinton had it right in 1992–It's the Economy Stupid! If you get people working again, everything else will work itself out.

    March 22, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. Dr.George James

    No wonder, Republican terror tactics worked!!!Remember the protests against Medicare,Social Security etc.when they were introduced.Now, millions enjoy the benefits of these Government run programs.THIS WILL DEFINITELY HAPPEN TO HEALTHCARE ALSO.

    March 22, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  22. The Other Michael in Houston

    Once again no one called me or anyone I know of.

    March 22, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  23. lil

    Just who are you polling the tea party people. No one in my family or that I know has been polled. So you guys must have your own list of tea party
    people that you talk to.

    March 22, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  24. Massachusetts Conservative

    To T*Sah in Virginia...Democrats didn't stand up to the "Party of No" last night with their vote for Healthcare Reform. The stood up to the American people. They said "We don't care that an overwhelming majority of you (nearly 60%) don't like this bill. We know what's best for you and we're gonna jam it down your throats anyway." Your comments would be laughable if they weren't so completely ignorant. A government by the People, for the People. 60% of Americans said "NO" and they voted for it anyway. This is a sad, sad day for democracy.

    March 22, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  25. conniesz

    This poll simply shows that there's a lot of misinformation out there and many people are currently to uninformed to know any better than to believe it. Once the truth starts to circulate, this will change and the people will see this is for the best. Anyone who remembers when medicare was introduced knows this is just part of the cycle. The polls shows large percentages against medicare – and look at it now. Change is never easy but sometimes it is necessary – this is one of those times.

    March 22, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
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