Kaiser Poll Shows Increasing Support For Reform
For months, Republicans have claimed that the public "rejected" President Obama's plan for health care reform. As a final vote on the reform bill approaches, GOP leaders have even taken to framing it as a fight between Democrats and the American people.
But recent polling has indicated that support for reform is on the rise. Today, the Kaiser Family Foundation released a new poll finding that 46 percent of Americans support the legislation while 42 percent oppose it:
The March Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds the public still divided on health reform legislation, with 46 percent of Americans backing the reform proposals on Capitol Hill, 42 percent opposing them and 12 percent saying they aren't sure. Six in 10 Americans say they have heard little or nothing about budget reconciliation. And many people continue to struggle with health costs, with nearly one in five saying cost increases have caused them or their employer to switch to a less comprehensive health plan.
The poll finds that Americans are also divided about what should happen next. Forty-two percent say "Congress has debated health care reform long enough and it is time for them to take a vote." Thirty-six percent would like lawmakers to "go back to the drawing board and start over again on a new proposal." And 20 percent say Congress should "move on to other topics."
The public does not understand some important elements of the reform legislation, according to the poll. Only 15 percent of Americans, for instance, know that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has said the legislation will decrease the federal budget deficit over the next 10 years. And 55 percent believe the CBO has said the legislation will increase the deficit over that period.