CNN Poll: Controversial health care provision unpopular
December 27th, 2010
10:18 AM ET
12 years ago

CNN Poll: Controversial health care provision unpopular

Washington (CNN) - As a crucial component of the nation's new health care law requiring all Americans to buy insurance faces an uncertain fate in federal courts, a new national poll indicates that a majority of Americans oppose that provision in the bill Congress passed earlier this year.

And a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday also indicates that a majority of the public still opposes the new law, but by a smaller margin than earlier this year.

According to the poll, six in ten oppose the requirement that all Americans get health insurance, with 38 percent saying they favor the provision.

In a ruling earlier this month a federal district court judge in Virginia struck down the provision, finding that Congress had overreached in imposing the insurance requirement. But two other federal district court judges ruled the opposite way, saying the insurance mandate is within Congress's authority under the Constitution's Commerce Clause. The cases are expected to make their way through the federal court system and eventually land in the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Among Democrats, 54 percent favor the insurance requirement, but more than six in ten Independents and Republicans oppose it," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Women are more likely than men to support that provision, but even among women, 53 percent oppose it."

The survey suggests that other provisions in the new health care law are much more popular. Just over six in ten are in favor of the part of the measure that prevents insurance companies from dropping coverage for people who become seriously ill, with 39 percent opposed. And 64 percent say they support the provision that prevents insurance companies from denying coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

Overall, 54 percent oppose the law, down five points from March, with 43 percent in favor of the measure, up four points from earlier this year. But roughly a quarter of those who oppose the new law do so because it is not liberal enough. Only 37 percent of the public opposes the new law because it is too liberal.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted December 17-19, with 1,008 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

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

Check out CNN's new Polling Center, which provides the most comprehensive polling data covering national questions and the top 2010 election races of any news organization in the political landscape.

Filed under: CNN poll • Health care • Polls
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Four and The Door

    This lousy product of rushed partisan political buyoffs and back room deals needs to be overturned. I wonder how Obama enjoys having his name tied to this legislative failure?!?! The best thing he could do now is participate in the repeal because it will be the greatest ammunition for anyone running against him in 2012. So far. We can do better and we will.

    December 27, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. Whatever

    DO NOT touch the entire bill but JUST the mandate portion!!! If you go after the entire bill... you do not care about Americans (pre existing conditions, college age children being covered until 26, etc.)!!!!!

    If you do not have insurance why should a doctor or hospital treat you!?! Those of us with insurance get charged (hmmm distribution of wealth that Repubs have not problem with... interesting)!!!!

    December 27, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  3. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Well well just maybe having a new health care law requiring all Americans to buy insurance would reduce the nation debt. Also health care is personal thing, if you have health care good but if you don't, emergency is no joke sitting there waiting long hours for some type of care.

    December 27, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  4. Indie Woman in Denver

    40% OPPOSE allowing insurance companies cancel coverage when someone gets sick... This has become a very hard-hearted nation. Whatever happened to "love thy neighbor as thyself"? If this is what the Tea Party and the religious right bring to politics, they've set civilization back a couple of centuries. It's not the America I want to live in. Christian nation, indeed.

    December 27, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  5. IEK

    The problem of course is that the provisions that prevent insurance companies from dropping people who get seriously ill, or denying pre-existing conditions don't really work unless almost everyone has insurance. If you can just wait until you're in a situation where you NEED insurance and then buy it, the price would skyrocket because the only people paying in would be people who were drawing out tens of thousands of dollars in benefits every year.

    December 27, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. Anonymous

    Obviously those opposed to the health bill that everybody buy insurance, have never looked at a hospital bill. It's highly padded to pay for those uninsured. I'm sick of paying for those that are riding on the backs of the rest of us.

    December 27, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  7. Gil

    That is because the averaage American is too dumb to know what the advantages of the health care bill will provide them and instead believe the right wing lies about "death panels" and other lies coming from FOX!

    December 27, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. GOP = Greed Over People

    To all of you who do not think you should not purchase insurance because you are young and healthy, I am ok with that, as long as you sign an agreement stating you will not use any of MY tax dollars when you are treated at the emergency room and half your head was left at the scene of the motorcycle accident or your arm was ripped off by the hay baler.

    Right now, if you are treated, it is MY tax and premium monies that are paying for your irresponsible ass for not having insurance. Under the mandate it would be YOUR insurance company paying for your care. Not me.


    December 27, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. Pennsylvania Super Patriot Deluxe

    We Americans can be some of the dumbest people on the planet sometimes. if someone can afford health insurance, they SHOULD be forced to buy it. because in the end, i am paying for them anyway through my insurance ($1,000 est per year). i am sure everyone who is against this does not care if they get into an accident with a driver without car insurance.


    December 27, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. chill

    Those that oppose the mandate but want all the other protections revolving around pre-existing conditions and lifetime caps for example are living in a dream world. They want something for nothing. If everyone refuses to buy insurance until they get sick, knowing they can't be denied, then the whole system falls apart. And what of the healthy young person who is unfortunate enough to be seriously injured in an accient and has no insrance. Is our society really okay with dumping him or her on the e-ward doorstep? If not, then who is going to pay the hundreds of thousands of dollars it will cost to treat him? Take responsibility and get the insurance once it is affordable.

    December 27, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. PalmReader

    My brother-in-law is a hard core Republican. He refuses to buy Health Insurance. In the past two years, he has made three trips to the emergency room for medical treatment - all three trips required overnight stays, and a multitude of medical tests. He could care less who ends up eating his medical care costs. He is also one of the 60% who are opposed to mandatory health insurance.

    December 27, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  12. Marie

    All of us using any part of the heath care system are already paying for uninsured... do you REALLY think aspirin costs a hospital $12 a pill?

    I would like people who use the system (that includes people who didn't intend to) to pay for part of it.

    I know folks paying unexpected medical expenses (in full) over 15-20 years to cover an accident or illness that brought them into the ER. If they had been paying a small amount into the system for a catastrophic insurance plan with agreements at the hospitals then the ruptured appendix would have cost much less than the "retail" price they were charged.

    And seriously folks, a regular check up and some well timed antibiotics would reduce the costs for all of us. Unless there is a legal binding contract that would allow someone to chose to die instead of being treated... everyone should be paying in!

    December 27, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. one voice

    So the majprity polled want the Insurance premiums to continue to skyrocket and allow the CROOKED companies to drop coverage when a loved one gets sick or they deny coverage because of pre-existing condition? You voters are going to be blamed if you allow your Crooked GOP to repeal this important law. FOOLS

    December 27, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |