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Poll Shows Strong Support for Obama Health Care Reforms
Date:2/11/2009

as we have it now is even close to what we ought to have."

The poll shows that as Americans learn more about Obama's anticipated reforms, they seem better able to make up their mind about them -- either pro or con. For example, 62 percent of those surveyed who said they knew "a lot" about the new president's ideas expressed support for the initiatives, with 36 percent opposed and only 2 percent saying they were "not sure." Among those who said they knew nothing about the Obama proposals, 66 percent remained unsure, 23 percent were supportive, and 11 percent opposed.

Some other key findings:

  • A majority of respondents said the reforms, if carried out, would improve the health care system. Sixty-one percent felt reforms would deliver adequate health insurance to more people, and 54 percent thought health care would be made more cost effective. But a fifth of respondents thought the changes would make the quality of medical care worse, not better.
  • Support for the proposals did not vary significantly based on income. Fifty percent of people making between $15,000 and $25,000 annually approved of the Obama plan, compared to 51 percent of those making $50,000 or more. But the gap widened as respondents looked at specific issues, such as the plan's ability to boost the quality of care or strengthen the economy.
  • Predictably, support split along party lines, with three-quarters of Democrats supporting Obama's overall plan, compared to 26 percent of Republicans. Many Republicans appeared to favor specific elements of the plan, however. For example, 70 percent supported the notion of having Medicare negotiate drug prices, and more than half (53 percent) agreed with offering subsidies to low-income families to ensure universal child health coverage.

Taylor noted that the poll is only the first of a planned series to gauge the public's attitude toward the new administration's approach to health care, so
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