Americans are getting focused on health care reform – and many don’t like what they see.

This article was co-authored by Bill McInturff and Alex Bratty.

A few weeks ago your faithful pollsters checked in to report what we were seeing in our data on the health care debate. Back then almost a third of the country (30%) said they did not know enough to have an opinion about the President’s health care plan. Just a few weeks later, we can tell you the public is now getting focused on this important issue (today just 17% say they don’t know enough to have an opinion), and not everyone – particularly those who already have private health insurance coverage – is happy with what they see.

In our latest NBC/WSJ poll* a plurality (42%) says from what they have heard about President Obama’s health care plan they think it is a bad idea. This is a ten-point jump from the 32% who said it was a bad idea in our June poll. Even more concerning is the shift in how the public perceives this plan will affect the quality of their care. In April, Americans were fairly evenly divided between those who thought Obama’s plan would mean their quality of care would get better (22%), get worse (24%), or stay about the same (29%). Today, the percentages saying it will get better or stay the same are basically unchanged (21% and 29% respectively), but 39% now say their quality of care will get worse – a whopping 15-point jump in just a few months. These numbers are even more striking among the 59% of the poll who have private coverage (15% say quality will get better, 44% say it will get worse).

More data from this poll helps explain why Congress has been struggling with the proposal to create a public health care plan administered by the federal government that would compete directly with private health insurance companies. The public is split on this idea – 46% favor it, 44% oppose it – with strong partisan lines drawn in the sand. Republicans oppose the plan by 78% to 18%, independents are divided (42% favor, 45% oppose), and Democrats favor it by 71% to 18%. However, it’s worth noting the internal conflict the Democratic Party is facing with Blue Dog Democrats (defined in this poll as White moderate and conservative Democrats) showing much softer support (56% favor, 31% oppose).

When presented with two different points of view on this public plan, a majority (52%) comes down on the side that it would limit access and choice of doctors/treatment while 41% believe it would lower costs and increase the number of people with coverage. Again, this is a significant shift in attitudes from our last poll when by five points Americans sided 47% to 42% with the argument in favor of the public plan. Of course, partisan attitudes are at play, but more importantly on this (and any other proposal related to health care reform) what matters most is health care coverage status. Last month privately insured Americans were fairly evenly split on these arguments, today by a margin of 16 points they are more concerned a public plan would limit access and choice. Those who are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare or some other plan switched from siding with the argument in favor of the public plan by 17 points to siding with the argument against it by a margin of 12 points. The 13% who do not have insurance continue to strongly favor President Obama’s health care proposal and the public plan.

The bottom line – that the Obama Administration is painfully discovering – is that you can not pass substantial care health reform unless the people who already have coverage see that there’s a benefit for them.

*National survey of 1,011 adults conducted July 24-27, 2009 (Public Opinion Strategies partners with Peter D. Hart Research Associates to conduct the NBC/WSJ polls. Neither Peter D. Hart Research Associates nor NBC/WSJ are responsible for these conclusions.)

Similar Articles

  • Public Education Update
    read more

  • Americans See China And Russia As Adversaries Posing Two Different Threats
    read more

  • A New Look At Ideology
    read more

  • Is social media your friend or a frenemy?
    read more

  • Trump’s numbers tied for his peak high as impeachment talk looms
    read more

Public Opinion Strategies helped us to clarify what we wanted to learn and then conducted research and analysis that shed light even beyond the questions we set out to ask. They were very receptive to our suggestions, responsive to our queries, and flexible when we needed them to be.

Public Opinion Strategies has consistently offered unparalleled advice and spot-on polling that has shaped how and where we spent money and deploy key resources. Additionally, they have always been an excellent steward of limited campaign resources, ensuring we spend wisely and not a dollar more than necessary in order to get the information we need.

Robert Blizzard and Public Opinion Strategies did a great job for us throughout our successful campaign for Congress. Robert gave us accurate data, spot on analysis, and professional advice, all of which were essential to our victory.

Public Opinion Strategies is one of our go-to pollsters when it comes to testing public support for bond ballot measures and other initiative proposals. They are available to provide ongoing consultation with regard to crafting of ballot questions, public outreach messaging, and related efforts.

ACLI has worked with Public Opinion Strategies for decades, through several tough industry battles—often ones in which public opinion does not naturally fall on the side of insurers. Yet Bill and his team consistently provide invaluable strategic advice by refining our messages and helping us frame our issues in a way that makes them understandable and persuasive.

The data from Public Opinion Strategies provided important insight and informed our public awareness campaign. We sincerely appreciate their professionalism and expertise in this arena.

Nicole McCleskey and the team at Public Opinion Strategies have been invaluable to me, both during my campaigns and as Governor of the State of New Mexico. It’s not just the accuracy of their numbers, but guiding the overall strategy that makes them so valuable.

Public Opinion Strategies has been a part of our team in Missouri for more than a decade. With their data and guidance, Republicans here were able to attain a majority in the House in 2002 for the first time in fifty years, and we have been able to grow that majority to the point that we now have a record, veto-proof majority.

In my tenure at two leading business associations, facing huge and complex consumer issues, I have benefitted enormously from the objective advisory skills of Bill and his team. They do their homework, they are rigorous, dispassionate and thoughtful. Turning questions into answers is a clever tag, but it’s also an apt description of the professional talents of the firm.

I consider Public Opinion Strategies to be a part of our team. That is the way we have always worked. They have helped us to understand our needs and fashioned research solutions to meet those needs. They have helped us to meet killer deadlines by being flexible, executing rapidly, and insuring quality. Teamwork is the best way to describe it.

Accuracy, speed, and deep knowledge of key issues and public sentiment are the hallmarks of quality opinion research, and on these measures Public Opinion Strategies consistently delivers. I have had the pleasure of working with Public Opinion Strategies for more than 15 years on dozens of issues, and they are undoubtedly the gold standard.

Public Opinion Strategies’ track record of success and wealth of experience in political campaigns and issue advocacy are why they are one of the most trusted and well respected public opinion firms in Washington, D.C. Their insights and perspectives have helped to inform a wide array of public affairs activities across multiple industries.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :