November 9th, 2010
05:08 PM ET
12 years ago

Poll: Americans split over health care reform

Washington (CNN) - A new survey suggests that Americans are split and conflicted about their opinion of the new health care reform law.

According to a Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, 42 percent have a favorable opinion of the law, compared with four in ten who have an unfavorable view of the new measure. The survey indicates that roughly one-third of Americans are enthusiastic about the law, almost one-third are angry about it, but more than half are confused when it comes to health care reform.

The poll reveals that almost half of Americans want Washington lawmakers to repeal all or parts of the health care reform law. However, when asked about specifics, most want to keep key provisions. Over 70 percent want to keep the parts that provide tax credits to small businesses and financial help to Americans who don't get insurance through their jobs. A majority also want to keep provisions that close the Medicare doughnut hole and prohibit denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions. The requirement for all Americans to have health insurance or risk paying a fine is the lightning rod of health care reform. Sixty-eight percent of Americans want this provision repealed.

The Kaiser poll also suggests that health care was very much on the minds of Americans voting in the midterm elections, but it was not the top priority. The survey indicates that the economy was the highest priority for most midterm election voters. Twenty-nine percent say that it mattered most in deciding how they voted in the congressional election. Health care and health care reform ranked fourth with 17 percent of voters saying that it was the one factor that mattered most in deciding how they would vote.

Conducted days after the election, Kaiser's poll indicates that 59 percent of voters who said health care was one of the top two factors influencing their vote supported a Republican candidate for Congress.

Almost half of those who cared the most about health care say they are angry about the law, which is shown to have deep partisan divides. Over three-fourths-77 percent-of those who have a favorable opinion of health care reform voted Democratic. Eighty-two percent of those who have an unfavorable opinion of the law voted for a Republican.

Kaiser's Health Tracking Poll was conducted from November 3-6 among 1,502 adults including 1,017 who say they voted in the mid-term elections. It has a sampling error of plus-or-minus 3 points.

Filed under: 2010 • Health care • Polls
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Charlie from the North

    Who wouldn't be confused. There was a fairly good plan. Not as good as it could have been if Obama had done what the GOP accused him of (shutting them out) They watered it down to attract GOP support then all but one abandoned the project.

    So they passed it and the the Supreme Republican Court said insurance companies could spend unlimited money lying about it. Now we have the party of No controlling 1/2 of Congress. The only bright side is now that they are in power they might have to be responsible. I said might they did not last time..........

    November 9, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  2. Jackalope

    Confused about the new health care law? I can't imagine why anyone would be confused, what with all the disinformation being spread around by FOX News [sic], the Tea Party, and Republicans in general.

    Hey, how can I get a job bein' on one of them "death panels?"

    November 9, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  3. Phattee

    "but more than half are confused when it comes to health care reform"

    That right there is the problem. STOP WATCHING FOX NEWS, PEOPLE. Get your facts from legitimate news sources.

    November 9, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Yeah, with Americans split on healthcare reform you'll see Republicans backing away from their promise of repeal. LOL

    November 9, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  5. the real ib

    We need healthcare reform that's for sure but not Obamacare. This thing needs to be re-worked. My wife is disabled and her secondary ins. just went up $50 per month and we got a four page letter telling why and listing the conditions in this bill that caused the increase. Senior citizens and the disabled cannot afford this bill; please change it.

    November 9, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  6. jim

    Only in CNN'S little world is the country divided over the existing healthcare legislation. To the people that live in the real world this piece of garbage is just what it is,a piece of garbage.We needed real helthcare reform with those provisions that most people like but this isn't it .

    November 9, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  7. Monster Zero

    If America is serious about balancing a budget then the first order of business by Federal and State government should be a 15 to 20% cut to Federal and State payroll, pension plans and healthcare provisions. Take your choice, public sector layoffs or public sector tax funded entitlement cuts...
    Healthcare reform = Immigration reform, tort law reform and open insurance pools. If insurance is a risk based business, when government mandates they insure a "sure loser" then there goes everyone's premiums to cover the loss how about the idea of a blind pool that ALL insurance carriers must pull from without all the instant information to know someone's health history. Put the gamble back into the mix!

    November 9, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  8. Jim8

    Most Americans don't realize we already have health care for all. If someone gets injured or sick and can't pay, the government pays with programs like Medical.

    I have a right wing conservative neighbor who had a destitute friend die of liver cancer. The guy got first rate care at the end. My friend seems to be unaware of, and also unwilling, to talk about just who paid for this care.

    He and I did with the taxes he tries so hard to evade.

    November 9, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  9. Robert M Macrae

    More than half the population are clueless about what is really in the bill and know little more than Murdock will allow. There has been such a rank disinformation cloud over its passage your poll is itself a low percentage hedge against real info.

    November 9, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  10. CaliforniaBC

    There is rampant misinformation about the health care reform. During the election's exit polls seniors said they were worried about cuts in medicare but a lot of those cuts are coming from cracking down on fraud and changing the way illnesses are treated like making doctors treat the illness as a whole rather than concentrating on individual procedures, making things more efficient. Plus, the health care bill already has helped seniors by closing the prescription drug doughnut hole, which actually put money in their hands to help pay for medications. So in essences, seniors voted against their own interests.

    Thank you to the GOP for filling everyones' heads with misinformation and outright lies just for short-term political gain as opposed to HELPING the country fix a serious problem. Their true colors are just shining through.

    November 9, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  11. sololady

    Here's what healthcare reform did for me: I had COBRA. In September the premiums went up and the coverage went down. After I looked at the cost of the policy and my new out-of-pocket for anything less than a catastrophic event, it wasn't worth it. I no longer have coverage.

    Guess if I have one of those catastrophic events, my option now will be to die quickly. And I'm NOT a Republican.

    November 9, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  12. dave

    Our business employs 74 people and spends $50,000 per month on healthcare for the staff. Healthcare that has a $5000 deductible and barely covers anything after that. I wonder, if we didn't have to lay out $50K per month, how many more people could we hire with that money. Want to create jobs? Fix healthcare and that would be a good start.

    November 9, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  13. Liz the First

    Is anyone surprised that, after all the lies spewed by the 'right' about the health ins. reform legislation, some folks are confused and opposed to it? if i believed all the crap from Faux Noise, i wouldn't like it, either. and a big percentage of the opposition to it is that it didn't go far enough. the only way to fix healthcare in this country is to go to a single-payor system. the simple fact is that this is a good first step toward real health reform. there are no death panels, no government takeover. those are scary phrases made up by its opponents. and let's also remember that the opposition was generated by the folks who stand to lose some of their profits. another glaring example of the GOP putting their god, the almighty dollar, over the wellbeing of the American people. so what else is new?

    November 9, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  14. Adalbert

    Those who are against HC reform are either on the HC company pay role or do not understand the benefits.

    November 9, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |

    Hey deficit hawks.......the healthcare bill will cut 1 trillion dollars from the deficit in 10 years thats a fact.

    November 9, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  16. ken

    Never repeal healthcare reform, the GOP are in the back pocket of the Insurance Industry, that the only reason they want to repeal it.

    November 9, 2010 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  17. The reality is...

    Sniffit – I've done plenty of research; it appears you have not. This power-grabbing bill is another way for Obama and his cohorts to try to permanently enslave us to the Democrat/Socialist government rule. The fact that it REQUIRES EVERYONE TO BUY HEALTH INSURANCE is unconstitutional. Why do I keep hearing even politicians saying it's no different from auto insurance when that is not true? No one is compelled to drive a car. If you don't mind totalitarian rule please move to a country which already provides such and leave our system to the freedom lovers and those willing to defend it. Thank you.

    November 9, 2010 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  18. Bob(Illinois)

    Americans a split because too many have been listening to Republican FUD: Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. The law is certainly imperfect and needs some fixes. But we are paying for all the insured people in this country whether we want to admit it or not. How do you think all those emergency visits are funded?

    November 9, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  19. George of the jungle

    I am glad that with my pre existin condition my health care will not be dropped. I am also glad that now there is no limit on my health care and that my children can remain on my plan untill they are 26 try and take this away from me and I will fight back,

    November 9, 2010 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  20. George of the jungle

    OH my health care went up 2.00 every 2 weeks this year so not everyone has seen a big increase Thank you Mr President.

    November 9, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  21. LouiseBCool

    Mitch McConnell is really going to need health care if he doesn't calm down some. He looks like he is going to explode any sec, working on a stroke, take it down Mitch, deep breaths..

    November 9, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  22. MM

    "pw", don't say that too loud, Congress didn't want to tell anyone that they have a government ran healthcare program and it covers ALL federal employees who are eligible for insurance. No such thing as a pre-existing condition, affordable rates, can take it into retirement, a flat rate for family plans no matter the size of the family, coverage starts immediately, cannot be denied coverage. And if you ask me how do I know, it is because I have this same coverage but I understand that what I have taken for granted the last 20 years most people will die for.

    November 9, 2010 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
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