Poll: More Approve Of Obama’s Handling Of Health Care, But Many Still Confused
The latest CBS News/New York Times poll finds that Americans are still confused and anxious about a health care overhaul.
"The poll found that an intense campaign by Mr. Obama to rally support behind his health care plan - including an address to Congress, a run of television interviews and rallies across the country - appears to have done little to allay concerns," The New York Times reports. "Majorities of respondents said that they were confused about the health care argument and that Mr. Obama had not done a good job in explaining what he was trying to accomplish."
But there were some positive indications for Obama as well. "[T]he poll suggests that Mr. Obama is in a decidedly more commanding position than Republicans on this issue as Congressional negotiations move into final stages. Most Americans trust Mr. Obama more than Republicans to make the right decisions on the issue; 76 percent said Republicans had not even laid out a clear health care plan." In addition, "nearly two-thirds of the country continues to favor the proposal, which is backed by Mr. Obama but has drawn intense fire from most Republicans and some moderate Democrats" (Nagourney and Sussman, 9/24).
CBS News reports that the poll shows "President Barack Obama's recent speeches and public appearances explaining his proposals for health care reform have made some impact but he still has work to do, and a majority of Americans remain confused." Obama's "approval rating for handling health care is up seven points from one month ago," from 40 percent to 47 percent. But "[w]en asked whether they mostly favor or oppose the changes to the health care system proposed by the president, 46 percent say they don't know enough about those changes to have an opinion. But among those who do have an opinion, more support (30 percent) than oppose (23 percent) the reforms" (9/24).
Meanwhile, another poll, taken last week by The Des Moines Register, finds Iowans conflicted about a health care overhaul: "Iowans tend to oppose the congressional reform effort in general, but they support many of the specific proposals. When asked how they feel about the overall health reform plans, 47 percent of Iowans say they're opposed, and 43 percent say they're in favor." Most Iowans polled "say they like specific reform ideas, such as health care co-ops, a national insurance exchange, a requirement that employers offer policies, and a requirement that U.S. residents have coverage. Even one of the most controversial proposals, to create government-run 'public-option' insurance plans, draws support from a slight majority. Iowans oppose only one of the six specific options noted by the poll -- the idea of cutting payments to doctors and hospitals" (Leys, 9/25).