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. FM

    Is this poll of 32 million who don't have any health insurance??

    March 22, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  2. ConservativeVictory2010

    Polls and opinions from outside the beltway obviously don't matter. But the November elections will correct that deficiency.

    March 22, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. ran

    Bull. when a survey is done that actually reflects the people then it might have some validity. But as long as these surveys use only people with land lines which are mostly people over 50 yoa then they do not truly reflect the people.

    March 22, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  4. What goes around

    "the contents of the bill were widely known," but were they widely known among the people surveyed? CNN should conduct THAT survey. Most people know only what they have heard from talking heads, and probably know more about the process it took to pass it than about the content of the bill itself.

    Now is the time for Congress and the White House to explain to the American people how this bill will change the lives of those Americans who desperately need change.

    March 22, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  5. Mike York

    With all this talk about the health care reform bill, one of the things that intrigues me most is of the people in opposition, how many of them have health care provided through an employer as opposed to having to provide their own? I'm also curious as to whether they or anyone in their immediate family has had any issues with insurance coverage or serious health problems.

    I understand the concerns about more government control but what do they think about the people that are truly suffering from the insane system we have today?

    March 22, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  6. dorothy

    American's are so misinformed about this bill that it is embarrassing.
    The Republicans have resorted to what they do best: nothing and destructive, fear-based politics. Business as usual for the self-serving, callous, poor excuses for Americans party of the elite.

    It is, bottom line, divided into a country of 'haves' (and don't want to share it) and 'have nots.'

    I salute Obama and the Democrats for the courage it took to do the right thing and remain completely disgusted with the masses of American people who are so blinded by apathy and ingnorance that they don't even know when something is in their best interests.

    The 'moral majority' (oh please) deserve the Republicans. The rest of us, however, do not.

    March 22, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. anotherGDlefty

    I like it and no one called me. I'm also not on a corner throwing insults & teabags either.
    My revolution happened in the voting booth in November 2008.

    Signed, A REAL AMERICAN.

    March 22, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. Ron

    For the first time in my adult life I am NOT proud of my country. This is a travesty to this great Democratic Republic and I don't know how we can ever make this country great again if this is not overruled by the Supreme Court. If this health care bill stands, and I worry it might, the only logical step is succession of a few states to form a new country. The great United States of America is no more and I am ready to create a new country where hard work and REWARDS for our hard work are appreciated. Which is going to be the first state to succeed? Let me know and I will move to that state within 90 days. Living in a great new country is much better than watching the United States continue its downfall into a Socialist nation.

    March 22, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. BobH

    I think this is an indictment of the media's ability to explain factual information to the public. The media focuses so much time on reporting what people in power say, as opposed to what is true, that they end up misleading their audience.

    It's factually incorrect that 62% of the people polled will pay more for healthcare under the bill (assuming the poll used random sampling techniques). So the respondents are uninformed. And while people may not like the measures in the bill that result in a lowering the of the deficit, they are factually incorrect in thinking that it will increase the deficit.

    CNN does its audience a disservice when it merely quotes politicians spewing clearly unsubstantiated or false statements and doesn't bother to correct them.

    March 22, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  10. Rush is to far left

    Duhhhh. And the democrats and president aren't listening. There is not argument that health care reform is needed. But this bill isn't it. All this bill does is help the entitlement, welfare, racist against white people, lazy with their hands out, illegal aliens, at the expense of middle class hard working americans. There are lots of opportunities in this country to improve your lot in life, or human life value. Why take away from someone that works hard to give to someone, usually black or brown people, that does not?

    March 22, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. djb

    Just goes to show you that the Republicans (aka Tea Partiers) have a better propaganda machine than the congressmen (and women) who voted for the bill. Fear is contagious. Education is the antidote to fear. What most people don't understand is that the alternative to this bill is skyrocketing costs of health care.

    March 22, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. terry

    Obamacare will bankrupt the us and turn us into a third world nation

    March 22, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. kmays

    Of the 35 million people that dont have any health care, how many of them were included in this poll. How many of them do you think beleive this is a bad bill. I would really like to know because maybe what they think dont matter.

    March 22, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  14. key

    They should talk to people with a broader Intellect than fox news

    March 22, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  15. Willie

    The percentages change depending on the day of the week and what their political affiliation. In the end, the net result is: Most of America still does not understand exactly what is in the bill that passed and what, exactly, it will do to affect each of us.

    So, let's get passed all of the purely political talking points from BOTH sides here, because it serves absolutely no one in answering the real questions. And let's get down to real business here.

    March 22, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. John

    Republicans want:

    No Social Security
    No Public Education
    No Regulated Banking
    No Medicare
    No Healthcare
    No Regulations for Wall Street
    No Regulations for Insurance
    No Tax to the Rich who make wealth by plunder of the poor
    No Regulation of private business, all free trade

    Republican want:
    All Plunder, Extortion, Scam, Feudalism, Anarchy and Capitalism for Crooks and Criminals.

    This was possible in 1850, not any more in 2010.

    March 22, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  17. Al Ragucci

    I was surprised by how much CNN reporting on the health care vote missed the mark. The headline on CNN's Saturday news shows was that Obama was losing support for the bill when most other networks were reporting that Dems were expressing supreme confidence in the final outcome. I hope CNN reporting works hard at maintaining its reputation for shooting down the middle and does not become overly dramatic for the sake of ratings.

    March 22, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. Patrick

    Like the majority that believed that :
    Iraq had soemtning to do with 9-11;,
    that sending more troops into Afghanistan would be the wrong move,
    That Cash for clunkers would not help the economy,
    that the country is heading into recession,

    March 22, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  19. All of america

    Of course the majority don't like the bill.We tried to tell congress that all along but they went against the people anyway! In november the majority of the public will show them how angry we really are, that is,if the feds don't rig the votes like they did in the presidental elections.

    March 22, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  20. Stephan In Billings

    I don't know what type of criteria wa used in the poll but everyone I spoke to here have been and still are for it. The out of control pricing and droping of patients, not the least of which is corruption is pervasive to say the least and has gone unchecked for decades.

    March 22, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  21. Schnauzertdad

    Do they realize that Americans, almost 2:1, do not want what they just crammed down our throats? The only way to fix health care was for congress to play by the same rules they vote for us! But they clearly won't do that because they know our health care is CRAP!

    March 22, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  22. NadineCA

    This American likes this Healthcare Bill. I don't know who is getting polled but it's definetly not me nor my friends because we very much like the bill and support it 100%. Why not poll the people who want this bill to pass and want Health Care Reform.

    March 22, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  23. Justen in Florida

    Wow, just wow.

    So, you wait untill it's passed to report this?

    You finally got around to reporting what everyone in America already knows.

    congrats CNN!

    March 22, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  24. Matt

    To those who support it: how do you intend to pay for it? I think if you stand to have health insurance subsidized for you by the working class, you shouldn't have gotten an opinion. Too many welfare babies growing up not realizing that this country is founded on work ethic, not handouts. If you want to succle from the "wealthy," go to Europe. Wait, our country is richer...wonder why. Probably because capitalism is the route to prosperity–which is why we overshadowed the rest of the world for so long. Even if I am "selfish" and work really hard, and create a business that makes me wealthy, I would have either had to improve the product/service or lowered the price. Both leave EVERYONE better off. The only reason we have company cartels who fix prices is because our government allows it by creating regulations–which are barriers to small business owners and entrepreneurs who don't have the capital to get past all the red tape. When it is the federal government that allows price fixing and makes our lives miserable, why would trust them for our health? How does forcing us to buy insurance, punish the insurers? How does it punish the hospital administrators charging $1000 per stainless steel screw? The answer: it doesn't. It's all political posturing to show Americans "they're doing something." I weep for our children and grandchildren who will be forced to either pay through absurdly high taxes or with blood. Because one side or the other is going to pay eventually.

    March 22, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  25. Brian from CA

    What happened to the poll that showed very strong support for the components of the bill but not the overall bill? That speaks more to voters' actualy understanding of the legislation.

    March 22, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
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