March 29th, 2010
12:51 PM ET
12 years ago

CNN Poll: Americans divided on repealing health care law

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Most Americans disapprove of the health care reform law, a new CNN poll says."]
Washington (CNN) - Most Americans disapprove of the health care reform law, but that does not translate into majority support for the "repeal and replace" strategy backed by most GOP leaders, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday indicates that 56 percent of the public disapproves of the new legislation, with 42 percent approving of the bill that President Obama signed into law last week. Tuesday the president signs into law fixes to the original legislation that were approved by Congress last week.

Full results (pdf)

More than three in 10 questioned say they dislike most of the bill, with one in four saying they oppose all the proposals in the new law. Fifteen percent say they approve of the new law without reservation, with another one in four saying they support the new reforms but feel they didn't go far enough.

When it comes to health care, Republicans have made "repeal and replace" their battle cry, and Obama has said he welcomes the fight. At an event in Iowa City, Iowa, last week, the president scoffed at the GOP strategy, saying, "My attitude is - Go for it."

According to the poll, 47 percent agree with the Republican strategy and want Congress to repeal most of the major provisions in the bill and replace them with completely new proposals. But 50 percent are fine with the current law or want Congress to go back and pass something that would increase the government's involvement in health care even further.

The 47 percent who favor "repeal and replace" is significantly lower than the 56 percent who say they disapprove of the bill's passage last week.

"That's because opposition to the new law comes in many different forms and not all of them benefit the GOP," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Some Americans continue to say that they disapprove of the bill because they want even more government involvement in health care than the bill created. Only a quarter are against the entire bill; one in three support at least a few proposals in the new law. And a handful of Americans appear to dislike the bill but don't want Congress to spend any more time on health care."

The survey indicates that half of all Republicans questioned say they are angry about the bill's passage, with another 38 percent saying they are displeased. By contrast, 29 percent of Democrats say they are enthusiastic, with another 50 percent saying they are pleased.

"The new law seems to have riled up Republicans without really getting Democrats fired up. Half of Republicans are angry about the new health care law; most Democrats favor the law but only one in three are enthusiastic about it," adds Holland.

According to the poll, the number who say the law would not help anyone in the country has dropped in the past week. Thirty-seven percent of the people questioned in a CNN survey released a week ago said the reforms would not help anyone. That number has dropped to 29 percent in the new poll.

Forty-seven percent say that this is a major victory for Barack Obama with another one in five calling it a minor accomplishment and one in three saying it was not a positive achievement.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday, with 1,009 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Filed under: CNN poll • Health care • Popular Posts
soundoff (204 Responses)
  1. phoenix86

    If the administration were to be honest about the ture cost of the plan, as well as the healthcare cuts in services that will be done, then all Americans would oppose this debacle.

    March 29, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  2. Sean

    I wonder what those numbers would be if the Republicans hadn't spent the better part of a year spreading lies and fear about this reform bill. How many people still believe it includes "death panels", or will "bankrupt the country", or will turn us "communist", or "take away our freedoms"? If we remove these outrageous lies from the equation, I'd be willing to bet that we'd be seeing broad support for this bill.

    March 29, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  3. Joseph

    If you run enough polls, 1 in 5 Americans will believe that 1+1=3, half the country will believe in aliens (which may be true, actually), and a good chunk believe that evolution is bunk and that we were all created in 7 days.

    So what do you get from polls, besides trying to sell your news?

    March 29, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. david

    I pay some $17000 per year for myself and my wife for our health insurance – something has to change – What is most interesting is the whiners who scream the most have no better ideas and I find their health coverage is paid for by someone else (i.e. employer, government employee, city, state or county employee) – I wonder what they would say if they had to pay for all of it by themselves – do I hear a hush come over the crowd

    March 29, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. Average American

    Read carefully, the poll results show "50 percent are fine with the current law or want Congress to go back and pass something that would increase the government's involvement in health care even further." Get it, some of the people who are counted as opposed to the current health reform law would like it to go farther! These people are NOT going to vote for republicans who want to repeal the current law and replace it with LESS oversight and tort reform. These people will vote for democrats and will push them to make changes to the bill. They want single payer or at least a government option.

    March 29, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. notfooledbydistractions

    To quote George HW Bush – "ain't gonna happen"

    They'd need a 2/3's majority – 67 votes and the President to sign off. It isn't going to happen.

    Talks of repeal are just a political scam to get the gullible and angry to open their wallets.

    March 29, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  7. Citizen !

    Spending BILLIONS on THIS health care pkge was a waste. The people who need assistance MOST will not be helped, BUT those that currently ABUSE the system will.
    AND while we are at it – – – WHY is it that "WE" can SPEND MEGA $$ to FLY "SUPRISE" trips all over. (ie; to visit ? the troops- do they really CARE?) I think NOT – they just want to get the JOB done and GET SAFELY HOME ! They don't really WANT to be there.

    This country is in DEBT – BIG TIME, doesn't the "leader" know this. The BUCK SPENDING should stop at the top. That would be setting an example.

    March 29, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. John L. - NYC

    Sounds about right. Although I know that Congress feels that as the bill has a chance to sink-in with the American people that support will grow but the initial projections of realistic impact on both the American people and the companies that employ us (AT&T, Caterpillar and Verizon just to name a few) make it clear where the buck will eventually fall – on middle class tax payer. People are realizing that "this is coming back on me" and these companies are already saying they won't be able to hire new workers because of the hit they will take. I don't see how this can help during a rececssion. The healthcare bill (as the majority of the country realized as evidenced by recent polling) ain't so free afterall, despite the rosy spin that was put on the sell-through.

    March 29, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. Joseph-Ohio

    What is the BIGGER picture!....We at last have a platform to work from now. Obama has accomplished what over 40 years of Presidents failed to do. Is it perfect, no! Is anything else in governement perfect, no! Is this a starting point to improve on, YES!

    March 29, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. Lisa

    I'd like to know what percentage of the respondents who disapprove of the reform wanted the reform to be more comprehensive. Not all of those repondents are necessarily those who do not reform. Perhaps that explains the lower percentage of people who want it repealed; it's not everything they wanted, but they will take what they can get.

    March 29, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  11. Greg

    The GOP is as usual throwing negative numbers around when in truth many of the people who are against this bill feel it did not go far enough and should have included a public option.

    March 29, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  12. Marry

    Well, at least it shows that a majority does not feel it was “pushed down someone’s throat”. What extraordinary great achievement and first step this legislation really is will people realize in a little while when the screamers quiet down.

    March 29, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  13. ronnyg

    These polls are ridiculous. Do you ever ask respondents if they KNOW what's in the healthcare bill? The public has been ill-informed on the particulars, so to just ask if they like something they don't even understand is pointless.

    Perhaps, CNN, you can spend less time and money polling and more of your resources, um, actually informing the public?

    March 29, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  14. get real

    It doesn't take much to rile up the republicans.

    March 29, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  15. earl

    The health care bill is fine. The American people need it. It's the RICH Republicans who don't want Americans to have anything INCLUDING Sarah Palin. She sold her soul to the devil for fame and a few bucks!
    Shame on you Palin, your lies about death panels that were false as well as everything else you say against the current administration. You, along with Fox News are going down!

    March 29, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  16. American Patriot - a true "tea partier"

    Hey, CNN, most people do NOT disapprove of the law. We have wanted health reform for decades but the republicans wouldn't let us have it. They kept stopping it because it would have hurt their bottom line.

    Just get the common-sense portions of the law enacted immediately - get rid of the pre-existing clause nonsense, get rid of the doughnut hole in Medicare and go after insurance companies who refuse to pay claims or insure someone.

    March 29, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  17. sqs1

    Why is no one calling this for what it is??? Its plain racism and a "freaking out" (a la Jerry Maguire).....It really doesn't matter what Obama says or does, it's really more about racist whites that do not want a black man in charge. Uh, have you saw anything other than white faces in these "angry mobs"??? Or is it a coincidence that there are no Chinese Teabaggers, or Latin teabaggers....Or is it also a coincidence that other than the one or two minorities that the Republicans showcase to say "Hey we're diverse", there are really no minority Republicans........Sadly, this is all a case of the white minority struggling with the fact that they are no longer the majority, and there are many other voices that are being heard. This is a new day, and they no longer are in control......plain and simple

    March 29, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  18. Lawrence Patraw

    I just can't imagine anyone wanting cuts in medicare, medicade
    higher taxes and worst of all the IRS having the power to fine people
    who can't afford Insurance . The Government can't successfully run
    any of the programs they have in place , now they try and run our healthcare !! I am glad you only asked 1009 American adults.

    March 29, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  19. NYCitizen

    As a new member of the GOP (thanks to my dissatisfaction with Democrats), may I suggest the republicans soften their slogans. Repal and Replace sounds so adversarial and spiteful. Perhaps they should be saying something like "Amend and Refine." At least it paints a picture of making what we already have into something better, rather than discarding what we already have and then doing nothing. But a personal warning to the GOP: I just joined you. If I am not happy with you either, I will turn Independent.

    March 29, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  20. Sally

    CNN, who are you polling?

    March 29, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  21. Jim M

    The problem with the releal & replace slogan is replace with what? The GOP does not offer any ideas on HC. If they do and Obama agrees with them, they will turn around and not support it.

    March 29, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. Mercedes

    The nation is furious with the democratic majority that passed this awful bill yet the main stream media plays up the few crazies out there. The truth is that given the size of this nation and the millions of angry people it's ridiculous. The level headed " opposition " to this awful bill far out-way the nuts and there is a quiet majority out there that will speak very load come November.

    March 29, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. Anthony

    The question for the republicants is Replace with what?? This was the republican plan in the past, to have people and small business pool together for lower rates and offer tax credits and vouchers for those who could not afford. Dole, Bush and Mcain all backed such an approach. So that just leaves them with "get a savings account in case you happen to get cancer". Thats not a plan. nor does it help solve the problem. If republicans want power they need solutions that apeal to more then just the angry old white man. Who never wins.

    March 29, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  24. Obama Victim

    yes, this bill has some positives...but it can be so much better...the Dems would serve themselves well to work with the Republicans to address the negatives.....might save them some seats in Nov......with the exception of the true believers, the Dems look bad right now

    March 29, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. chris l

    LOL LOL, CNN is Hilarious. After over a year of attempting to sell this garbage to the public. After all the Lies and deception by OBOZO and his cronies and ramming the bill through the majority of Americans are still telling the fraud and chief where he can shove the bill. All the while CNN tells us that the Republicans idea of repeal and replace might not be effective. LOL, Hey Cnn what planet are you living on? But hey keep trying to make the innevidable from happening. Its pretty pathetic. Do you ever wonder why your rating have fallen behind The Food Network? LOL LOL

    March 29, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
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