Health care reform and American opinion: An overview of five polls

By Lauren McNitt

ProducersWEB


As the House prepares to vote on the health care repeal bill, both parties are convinced they know what Americans want — or at least what is best for Americans.

But, after looking at poll results from several organizations, it seems Americans are nearly evenly divided on the issue — the percentage of those opposed to the bill is slightly larger than the percentage of those supporting it.

Here is an overview of five recent polls.

AP-GfK poll:
The AP poll found that Americans are evenly divided on health reform, with 41 percent opposing it and 40 percent supporting it.

But, when divided by party affiliation, the poll found most Republicans were against to the bill, while most Democrats were not (no surprise, right?):
  • Republicans overwhelmingly oppose reform (71 percent), and 49 percent support repeal.
  • Only 19 percent of Dems oppose reform.
  • And 35 percent of Independents say they oppose it.
Quinnipiac:
The Quinnipiac poll found that 51 percent of voters disapprove of the way Obama is handling health care, while 44 percent approve. And, when asked how they view repeal of the health reform law, 48 percent of the public responded that they support it and 43 percent said they oppose repeal.

But again, a partisan divide is evident when answers are broken up by party affiliation:
  • 83 percent of Republicans support repeal;
  • And 54 percent of Independents support repeal.
  • But 76 percent of Democrats say they support health care reform.
CNN:
The CNN poll asked “If you had to choose, would you rather see Congress vote to repeal all of the provisions in the new law or would you rather see Congress vote to leave in place all the provisions in the new law?”

The poll found:
  • 50 percent said they support repealing all provisions,
  • And 42 percent said they support keeping all provisions in place.
Marist:
The Marist poll found few Americans support the law in its current form (only 14 percent):
  • 35 percent want to change it so it does more;
  • 13 percent want to change it so it does less;
  • And 30 percent favor repeal.
Gallup:
Gallup asked, “Would you want your representative in Congress to vote “yes” to repeal the health care law or to vote “no” and let the health care law stand?”

The poll found that 46 percent of Americans want their representative to vote to repeal the law, and 40 percent want their representative to let the law stand. When divided by party the poll found:
  • 78 percent of Republicans support repeal, and 15 percent support letting the law stand.
  • 43 percent of Independents support repeal, and 39 percent said they’d want their Representative to let the law stand.
  • But 24 percent of Democrats would want their Representative to vote to repeal, while 64 percent said they support letting the law stand.
Editor's note: Check out this latest poll on seniors' opinions of repeal.