Polls Find Deep Divisions On Health Care Reform
CNN Political Ticker: According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released today, "Americans are split over the health care bill which narrowly passed the House of Representatives earlier this month ... and the survey suggests the opposition to the legislation isn't coming only from the right."
"The survey suggests that 46 percent of Americans favor the bill, which passed in the House on November 7 by a 220 to 215 margin, with 49 percent of the public opposed to the legislation. 'Roughly one in three Americans opposes the House bill because it is too liberal, but one in 10 oppose the bill because it is not liberal enough,' says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. 'That may indicate that a majority opposes the details in the bill, but also that a majority may approve of the overall approach taken by House Democrats and President Obama.'"
And, even with this deep split in public opinion about pending reform proposals, "a majority of Americans would like to see the Senate take up the legislation." The telephone survey was conducted Nov. 13-15 and has a overall sampling error of +/- 3 percentage points (Steinhauser, 11/17).
The Washington Post reports on a new Washington Post-ABC News poll that also "shows Americans are deeply divided over the proposals under consideration. But Republican opponents have done little better in rallying the public opposition to kill the reform effort. ... 48 percent say they support the proposed changes; 49 percent are opposed. ... The new poll provides ammunition for both advocates and opponents of reform. For opponents, a clear area of public concern centers on cost -- 52 percent say an altered system would probably make their own care more expensive, and 56 percent see the overall cost of health care in the country going up as a result ... But reform proponents have other findings to bolster their case. Two-thirds of those surveyed support one of the basic tenets of the reform plan, a new requirement that all employers with payrolls of $500,000 or more provide health insurance coverage for their employees or face fines. As in previous polls, a majority supports a government-sponsored heath insurance plan to compete with private insurers, although the percentage supporting the general idea has slipped slightly over the past month to 53 percent" (Balz and Cohen, 11/17).
ABC News: "Other measures underscore the difficulties facing the GOP. ... Democrats in this poll outnumber the Republicans by 10 points as the party that 'better represents your own personal values' and by 15 points as being 'more concerned with the needs of people like you.'" ABC notes that "Obama leads the Republicans in Congress in trust to handle health care by 13 points, 50 percent to 37 percent" (Langer, 11/17).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.