CNN poll: Half favor repealing health care law
January 18th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
12 years ago

CNN poll: Half favor repealing health care law

Washington (CNN) - Just hours before the House of Representatives is scheduled to begin debate on repealing the nation's new health care law, a new national poll indicates that given the same choice lawmakers will face between repealing the whole measure or keeping it all in place, half of all Americans prefer repeal.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, released on Tuesday, also indicates wide partisan and generational divides over the issue.

Tuesday's debate and a scheduled House vote on Wednesday fulfills a campaign promise by congressional Republicans to attempt to repeal health care reform, but also sets up a clash with President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats.

Full results (pdf)

According to the poll, when asked if they would rather see Congress vote to repeal all of the provisions or keep them in place, 50 percent of all Americans favor repeal - even though only one in six dislike everything in the bill. Four in ten oppose such a move.

"Some provisions of the new health care law, such as changes that prevent health insurance companies from denying or dropping coverage for sick people, are extremely popular, and nearly eight in ten Americans say they like at least some aspects of the health care law," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Polls tend to show that Americans would like to repeal some parts of the new law and keep others. But that option won't be available to lawmakers when the House votes this week."

A Quinnipiac University national poll that was also released Tuesday offered similar results. According to the survey, Americans by a 48 to 43 percent margin want Congress to repeal the health care reform.

As expected, the CNN poll indicates a wide partisan divide, with less than a quarter of Democrats in favor of repeal. That number jumps to 47 percent among independent voters and 84 percent among Republicans questioned in the survey.

According to the poll, a generation gap also exists. People over the age of 50 favor repeal by a 57 to 37 percent margin. But those under the age of 50 are split.

"It's possible this is due to the fact that the first provisions of the new law to take effect have benefited younger Americans," adds Holland. "Or it may be an indication that older Americans are concerned that the new law may affect their Medicare benefits."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Jan. 14-16, with 1,014 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Filed under: CNN Poll Archive • Extra • Health care
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. LeftCoastMike

    Much ado about nothing. These cowardly, lame "R" party patsies will fail, then go weeping to the Tea Bagger buddies how hard they tried but that the "activist Democrats" in the Senate and that suspect Negro in the White House just would not go along with the agenda. Then they will go back to business as usual ... taking $$$ from lobbyists, going to out-of-town "retreats", and showing up on FOX for a lovefest with Sean Hannity. Greatest con job since "W" conned the Christians into thinking he was going to do what they told him. talk about being snookered. 2012 is looking REAL BAD for you folks. Hope you still have some healthcare left so you can see your psychiatrist who can explain to you how it all went so wrong.

    January 18, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. Phil in KC

    Just goes to show what a good propaganda effort can do. I'd be willing to bet that, if the individual provisions of the health care bill were called out, people would be overwhelmingly in favor of it. But, they gave it a name that sounds negative to the Republican base, sold many independents that it sounded negative and harped on one or two provisions that are unfavorable to many. Meanwhile the vast majority of the public are too lazy to look it up themselves and come to an informed opinion. That's why this smear campaign is working.

    January 18, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  3. ramtruck2500

    Geez amazing! Half LIKE IT. Can it be yup it surely is. It passed and no communist relvolution as stated by the gun site authority. The sun still rises and people are doing fine except for a LACK of JOBS that the Republicans were going to fix. Nothing on that one but they can open up an expensive can of worms and basically screw everyone. JOBS! oyh ya thats gone by the by. And lets all give thanks to the GOP for giving us the 49th ranked health care system on the planet. One country allowing a citizen to die every 12 minutes yet brings in illegals to take the other jobs from the citizens becuase the US Chamber of Commerce tells us the bottom line is better than health care The chamber needs to be out of the government period!!!

    January 18, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  4. Michael

    I would STRONGLY suggest that before repealing something, the GOP have a plan in place for a replacement. Americans need to understand that much of what isn't liked or appreciated in the current plan was put in place by The Party of No. So let the House come up with a viable solution that (1) Ensures 100% of Americans, regardless of pre-existing conditions; (2) Won't break the back of the American Middle Class; (3) Won't kill Small Business; (4) forces all members of the Government to subscribe to. Then and only then, we'll talk ...

    January 18, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  5. Tim

    Sorry, of those with a view, 54% favor repeal, 46% opposed. And as is typical, they likely surveyed much more liberals than conservatives, even though much more people are conservative than liberal. If they asked everyone, I'm sure it would be over 2/3 favor repeal.

    January 18, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. Phil in KC

    "The moral test of government is how it treats those in the dawn of life – the children; those in the twilight of life – the aged; and those in the shadows of life – the sick, the needy and the handicapped." – HHH
    I guess the Republicans aren't as moral as they claim to be.

    January 18, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  7. Tim

    Amazing, 6% favor Obamacare as written. 6%. One think is crystal clear. There is wide-spread bi-partisan support for repeal.

    January 18, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  8. Sam Sixpack

    My disabled son has been on Medicaid for the past five years. In our area, the government has contracted with a big umbrella organization that oversees the clinics my son is "allowed" to visit in exchange for all the Medicaid money.

    Unfortunately, my son's condition is only hypothetically covered under the umbrella organization.

    I was lucky enough to get a waiver allowing my son to go outside the umbrella and see any doctor he could afford. So, now, my son and I pay for his doctor’s visits out of pocket. Of course, the privileged few running the umbrella company keep the all the Medicaid dollars.

    By the way, with appropriate health care my son is now only a year away from his bachelor’s degree.

    If and when the mandate kicks in, and after I pay all I can “afford” for coverage, I won’t have anything left to pay for my son’s healthcare or my own healthcare deductibles. I can only hope he graduates before then.

    Obamacare: paying all you can afford for medical care you will never receive.

    January 18, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  9. ReallY!!?

    "If Obamacare is repealed, then you are putting the insurance companies in charge of your healthcare again". Excuse me? So Govt bureacrat should be incharge of healthcare like they are right with education & social security? Really?

    The insurance companies are still in charge and r gouging us with insurance premiums, deductible and copay!! They were bought by this bill b/c the bill did not limit how much they could charge. Making h/c costs pretty much unaffordable. Don't believe? well Blue Cross/Blue Sheild just annonced a 59% increase! What is Obamacare doing about that? How about that "if u like your insurance u can keep it". Forget the " oh but it will cost ya!"

    January 18, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. BDM

    Rasmussen really, Really! Apparently you did not see the meeting hosted by Obama for Democrats and Republicans to discuss ideas. The Republicans, as usual, were not honest brokers. BTW, had the Democrats listened, we would have single payer or a public option...dont let any facts get in your way, though, since hyperbole is the Republicans most steadfast form of communicating! Also, are you an economist or just a really loyal Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity supporter? Again, I am certain, you have no facts to support your claim that this reform will bankrupt our country.

    January 18, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  11. My Country

    I relocated from a blue state to a red state. Both states have extremely high taxes and both states have high unemployment. I am employable and have applied for more than 20 jobs in the past 3 months. In the meantime, I applied for an individual health insurance policy so I can be covered until I become employed. Four major health insurance companies turned me down because I am taking medication for high cholesterol and border-line high blood pressure (I'm not overweight, not a smoker or a drinker). The US has had Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid for many, many years. I consider these things to be socialist in nature yet everyone demands and expects access to them. I personaly would be willing to give up these things since I have been saving for my retirement since I was 19 years old. However, I do not think we should bend to the will of insurance lobbyists and deny American citizens access to healthcare. If you have to wait in line for healthcare in Canada vs. being totally denied healthcare in this country, then we have a lot to learn from Canada.

    January 18, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  12. derrick

    SOme of you people are complete idiots. Perhaps when you or your child get sick and denied health care you will change your selfish tune. I was out of work for an entire year and did not have health care with a wife who had breast cancer. I did not sit around looking for a handout like many of you republicans suggest. I was blessed to find another good job with benefits but many have not. YOu people cry wolf and demonize others until it is you that is on the brink of collapse. How american is that you hypocrites????

    January 18, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  13. B

    I really feel that most of the people polled do not even understand the details of the plan and are just making political calls out of ignorance as they do about others issues that have become misrepresented.
    These people are their own worst enemies!

    January 18, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  14. TheGhostOfReason

    I'm not sure how tointerpret this poll as there are some problems. First, why are no 18-34 voters included. We know from the Obama election that they tend to lean to the liberal side and that could have skewed the results. By omitting them, this poll doesn't offer the full picture. Secondly, the question of do you favor the repeal of all provisions is poorly worded. The choices are either "repeal all" or "keep all." All or none questions make people feel trapped and don't offer good statistics. These two issues aside, I think there is some interesting things we can take from this poll, but their overall theme of half supporting a repeal seems a bit overzealous to me.

    January 18, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. Rick McDaniel

    Well gee. An honest report???? I'm sure you will change it tomorrow, after the WH calls.

    January 18, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  16. rosethornne

    Nobody asked for free health care, we want FAIR health care. That means, the same basic care available no matter how many mountains of dollars you have to roll around in.

    The new law is far from perfect, exactly because of knee-jerk idiots who prefer to suck lies from Fox rather than do any work to investigate the truth.

    So, if the Stupidlicans don't like the current law they should put forward ideas to improve it. Except they can't, they have no actual ideas.

    January 18, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. sonny chapman

    80 % like it, but 1/2 don't like the part of having to pay something to get it. Talk about a Nation of Shared Sacrifice. BTW, the 20% that don't like before the question is posed about paying for it, They're OBAMA HATERS.

    January 18, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  18. Oy Vey Az

    Hey, everything has been plitically half this and half that for two years now. Duh ... Do you just love all these ... polls?

    January 18, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    union are not paying for health care. why do they get a break.

    January 18, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. FlawedAgain

    Once again, CNN provides a flawed poll. Read the full results people. They had nobody in the 18-34 year old age bracket.

    January 18, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  21. chris

    The majority of those folks don't have a clue as to what they want to repeal!!! The Democrats did a bad job selling this bill, and the fact that a Public Option was left out really left the major bad taste in regards to why folks don't like it. Overall it was a decent bill not the best but decent. While it didn't address all the issues of rising cost of healthcare it did address some of the issues that insurance company were able to get away with over the year in regards to patient care!!! So while all you folks out here screaming about repeal the bill, i guess you have some really good insurance.

    January 18, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  22. Carol Averill

    Who did you ask??? How many in the Survey??? I'm unemployed and using my retirement to pay my bills the biggest is a minimal coverage BSBC for $400 per month. Blue Shield of California is outsourcing a bunch of jobs. The bill does have issues, including Section 9006 regarding 1099's. You didn't talk to anyone I know that has NO health insurance. My Granddaughter will loose hers if this is repeal and makes minimum wage and has preexisting conditions.

    January 18, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  23. Sarge

    CNN is not a good source for polling..A great deal of their viewers are now republicans....@ ReallYII Bankrupt America?????? What about the Billions of dollars it's now going to cost to give the top 2% of the richest a tax break????? Get a life you uncompasionate FOOL.......

    January 18, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  24. Ancient Texan

    A pitiful attempt to reform healthcare, that includes unconstitutional provision for compulsory compliance, but raises the cost of healthcare rather than lowers it and will bankrupt the country in the process. It needs to be repealed and replaced with a workable reform.

    January 18, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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