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 Sixty-eight percent of Americans want this provision repealed.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. Sniffit

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


    November 9, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    I am sure citizens that are already reaping the rewards of the healthcare bill are all for it. Go ahead rethugs take away pre existing condition gone, children who can be on their parents' insurance policy until 26, no term limits (the insurance company death panels) for any sickness, plugging the donut hole (those old teatards still don't get it)!

    November 9, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  3. Parky Bill

    Why don't you guys ever break down WHY people are against the current HCR bill? Might it be because you'd learn that most of the people who oppose it say it didn't go FAR ENOUGH?

    November 9, 2010 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  4. I Support President Obama

    Well I hope the angry people have health care. Staying angry for too long will cause a heart attack.

    November 9, 2010 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  5. NC

    Abolish Medicare and let people take care of grandma and grandpa. This is for the I WANT GOVERNMENT OUT OF MY LIFE PEOPLE.

    November 9, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  6. stufthis

    4 in 10 oppose health reform. According to multi millionaire Mitch McConnell who, along with the Town Crier Boner, speaks for all Americans, said Americans want it repealed and replaced with the republican plan: nothing.

    November 9, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  7. Amused

    The correct way to do it would have been to pass a law that makes corrective changes to the insurance industry that don't require Congress to spend any money; such as requiring Insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions. As soon as Congress starts to spend money in a piece of legislation, that is when you have to be careful. The number 1 question in Washington should always be..."how are you going to pay for it?" Doesn't matter if you're writing the healthcare law or passing the omnibus bill to fund the general operations of the government; how are you going to pay for it? Don't have enough tax revenue coming in to cover the spending? Well then you'll have to raise taxes or cut spending. What a novel concept...

    November 9, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  8. I want to Have My Cake and Eat It Too

    HCR will never be repealed. Republicans lied to get elected.

    November 9, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  9. Jen Randle MO

    I have a question....who should pay for someone who uses the emergency room because they are not insured or can't afford a doctor? And, I'm referring to US citizens who are uninsured, not illegals. Any answers?

    November 9, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  10. rick Leyba

    what is the problem, have your healthcare costs skyrocketted the last 4-8 years like mine, something needs to be done now!, what talk about it another ten years, Remember Obama ran on passing healthcare during his campaign, even though it may cost him re-election he continued forward. he had the balls to get this passed, sure it maybe needs some reform, but when your talking about any complicated national bill, of course it's going to need some refining. It is just the popular thing to say, wethter you know the facts or not, people see the transiet on the street and think well, why do I have to pay for him, Your not, and not everyone you see is a bum. and even so, are we so cold hearted, as to say " well if you don't work or haven' worked for a few years, you should DIE!,

    November 9, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  11. pw

    Teabaggers can't read!!. They didn't realize they been had by the corporations, and the infamous Koch Brothers.

    November 9, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  12. AJoe

    Dear amused. Are you really as ignorant as you project? Covering pre-existing conditions without mandating coverage for all is not going to work. That's why Republicans have no plan that will cover pre-existing conditions and there will never be a plan that has coverage for pre-existing conditions unless coverage is mandated for all.

    O yes, to those who think that it's patriottic to say that the current system is the best of the world: it's quite obvious that you never lived anywhere else. Americans are the ridicule of the entire civilised world for their hopelessly ineffective and expensive health care. Grow up! (And contrary to most I can tell from experience that other systems are indeed much better, even though there are some great doctors and great care here. )

    November 9, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  13. kat

    The current HCR bill is a joke. I have insurance which I pay dearly for. I also pay insurance for many of my employees, and I am not rich. I am a small business owner. We need Health Care Insurance Reform. I want to end the practice of not paying for preexisting conditions as well as caps on policies, but putting all the cost on the backs of small business people is ruining our economy. STOP all the unneccesary entitlements, Let people be rewarded for actually working instead of milking the system and see how fast our unemployment rate drops. My quess is very fast! Hungry people don't sit on their duffs, they find a way to earn money to buy food.

    November 9, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  14. pw

    Congress doesn't realize that they have socialized medicine. It's the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan. I guess they didn't tell the teabaggers that.

    November 9, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  15. Ancient Texan

    Obamacare was a budget busting farce to begin with. It was never about reform, but was about control. Reform is needed, but not this smelly garbage. Now AARP and the AMA have decided it was all a mistake and needs to be fixed.

    November 9, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. JennyTX

    Why do the Repubs want to repeal the whole thing? Do they want to risk being dropped from coverage, or being rejected as having a preexisting condition?

    November 9, 2010 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  17. keepstufingthis

    Wow, the libs are really active today on the name calling front. They're sophistication and elitism have failed to teach them the lesson of 2012. Please keep calling us stupid, neanderthals, enemies, astroturf, rethuglicans, and all of the other perjoratives that incited the mass move to throw the libs out this year. We have to finish the job in 2012. Apparenly we cannot have an intelligent conversation with a liberal without being called a name.

    November 9, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  18. Operation Crush Rush

    Nice how an arm of the Health industry takes a lying poll,hahaha

    November 9, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  19. shannon

    You have to wonder at the kind of person who would be angry that someone else is getting healthcare, but would vote for a person who apologized to BP, called the unemployed lazy, and want to give the richest Americans tax breaks on the backs of the working people of this country. Republicans always vote against their own best interests, they just can't make an informed decision, they have to do what Rush and Glen tell them to do, it's sad, and now the rest of us have to live with their mistakes.

    November 9, 2010 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  20. DJ in TX

    So much for the GOP talking point of "the American Public wants this repealed". As with most ALL things coming out of Washington, there are people who are going to be for it and people who are against and it seems to be split down the middle.

    Side note – Mr. Boehner always talks about fiscal responsibliity, bailouts, etc. I guess he wants people to forget he voted FOR the TARP. Hey Tea Party, you ousted Mr. Bennet and Mr. Castle for this, please remember this fact when Boehner is up in 2

    November 9, 2010 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  21. bobden

    The only thing wrong with the health care reform bill is that it didn't go far enough. The president had to give up too much to get the lying repunks to shut up and let the country's business proceed.

    So now the insurance industry is still in charge.

    Maybe its OK to haqave private insurance companies, but first ALL of the current companies should be shut down. Then we can start over with NEW companies with NEW executives.

    November 9, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  22. Larry

    foolish people dont even know when someones tring to help them

    November 9, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  23. greg in jax

    If we can spend a trillion dollars on a military to protect Americans (some more than others), then what is the problem with spending a billion dollars on a health care system to protect Americans (some more than others.)

    What good is protecting Americans from foreign invaders such as Al Queda, if some of those same Americans are dying from foreign invaders such as cancer because they do not have adequate, accessible and affordable health care.

    Health care is as important as national defense.

    November 9, 2010 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  24. TheTraveler

    Here we go again. The GOP will simply "stir it up" again, just like what happened during the "town hall debates". Look, Americans have been waiting for over 30 years for this. It's been a major campaigning platform for politicians for years and years. The insurance and health care sector companies have been ripping the American citizen off for years. While the new Health Care Lawl may not be perfect, at least it's a start to try and bring back some sanity to health care costs.

    If you're so dead set against it, then feel free to burn your Medicaid and Medicare cards along with your Social Security checks ...

    November 9, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  25. Shari from Madison

    Okay Kat, according to you everyone who doesn't work is lazy nad if they go hungry they will find some job. Well, you don't take into account those who are disabled, who can't read, who have children that have diseases that require the parents to take most of their days taking care of that child. What do you want a parent/parents of a sick child do? Leave them out in the cold so they can die while the parents scrape by on a minumum wage? I know this bill was not perfect, but it's better than leaving things the way they are. I have a good job and my company does pay for most of my healthcare, but if I would lose this job because of downsizing or thru no fault of my own, I couldn't get any reasonably priced health insurance because I have a pre-existing condition. I wouldn't be able to afford the medicine I take that keeps me alive, so I would die.
    I bet you would cheer for this, wouldn't you? As Scrooge once said, " If they are going to die let them hurry up and die and decrease the surplus population".

    How would you fix our health system? Those who are able bodied and can work will pay all the costs of their healthcare and those who aren't able bodied and can't work would just live on the streets until they die?

    November 9, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
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