Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Obama's Shrinking Approval on Health Care

With Congress' work on a health care reform package underway, support for the President who pressed for quick action on the plan is fading among two critical constituencies according to the new Washington Post-ABC News poll - political independents and women.

Barack Obama's approval rating on the issue in the new poll fell below 50 percent for the first time, to 49 percent with 44 percent disapproving, including a 16-point decline since the 100-day mark of his presidency in approval on the issue among women and a nine-point drop among independents.

At the same time, Republicans have trimmed 10 points from Obama's edge among women on handling the issue: in June, women gave Obama a 34-point advantage over Republicans on handling health care reform, now, it's 24-points. Among independents, Obama's advantage has held roughly even, it was 25 points in June and is 21 points now.

Obama has also lost significant ground among liberals and the young - some of his core supporters. His approval on handling health care dropped from 81 percent in April to 64 percent among liberals in the new poll, and his advantage over the Republicans in Congress as the one more trusted to steer the reform effort fell from 79 points in June to 58 points today. Among those under age 40, his approval rating on the issue has dipped 13 points though his advantage on handling the issue has held steady.

A move to shore up support from the left could jeopardize the plan's support among moderate Democrats in Congress, who are already balking at some elements of the new plan.

Despite their fading approval of the president, majorities of women, independents, liberals and younger adults support the broad outlines of a health care package like the one put forward by Democratic congressional leaders last week.

And none of the four groups stands out as drastically different from others in their assessment of Obama's overall job performance. Among women, approval of Obama has dropped 10 points since April, the same as among men. The seven-point drop-off in approval among liberals nearly matches the eight- and nine-point declines among moderates and conservatives, respectively. The 11-point decline among those under age 40 is on par with that among others under age 65. And a nine-point dip since April among independents falls squarely between Democrats (down an insignificant three points) and Republicans (off 16 points).

All broke in Obama's favor in the November presidential elections, and are crucial components of his winning coalition. Losing them on the health care battle could present deeper problems for the president's agenda.

Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Obama is handling health care?

                April              July         Approval
             Appr.   Disapp.   Appr.   Disapp.   Change
All           57       29       49       44        -8         

Democrat      83       10       78       15        -5
Republican    20       66       21       75        +1
Independent   53       30       44       49        -9

Liberal       81        6       64       27       -17
Moderate      63       24       56       36        -7
Conservative  36       51       34       63        -2

Men           49       37       50       46        +1
Women         64       23       48       41       -16

18-39         66       22       53       39       -13
40-64         51       35       42       51        -9
65+           51       33       52       41        +1

HH Income:
<$50,000      64       26       53       39       -11
$50,000+      52       33       44       52        -8

No degree     59       28       50       43        -9
College grad  53       32       48       45        -5

Q. Who do you trust to do a better job handling health care reform - Obama or the Republicans in Congress?

                 June      Obama        July      Obama
             Obama   Reps. Margin   Obama   Reps. Margin
All           55      27    +28       54      34   +20

Democrat      89       5    +84       89       6   +83
Republican    13      67    -54        7      82   -75
Independent   51      26    +25       52      31   +21

Liberal       89      10    +79       76      18   +58
Moderate      60      18    +42       61      26   +35
Conservative  29      49    -20       36      53   -17

Men           50      30    +20       51      36   +15
Women         59      25    +34       56      32   +24

18-39         55      29    +26       58      34   +24
40-64         52      27    +25       52      33   +19
65+           62      24    +42       47      37   +10

HH Income:
<$50,000      57      27    +30       63      25   +38
$50,000+      51      30    +21       44      44     0

No degree     56      28    +28       57      32   +25
College grad  52      26    +26       48      39    +9

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  July 20, 2009; 12:32 PM ET
Categories:  Health care , Post Polls , Presidential Approval  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Moonwalking
Next: Democratic Rifts on Budget, Economy


Change is hard, especially when it is being pushed by a black president in the 21st century. Change is hard when people have become comfortable with the status quo. Change is hard when people refuse to challenge themselves to overcome complacency. Change is hard when our congressional leaders put their own selfish interests ahead of their constiuents. They are afraid to challenge the mega pharmaceutical, insurance, and HMOs corporations, for fear of loosing precious campaign contributions that will keep them in their jobs. Most of these politicians, both democrat and republican, are wealthier than their average constiuent, and want to remain so, by helping these corporation maintain their stranglehold and monopolize the healthcare debate. The average American, given the unvarnished truth, want the healthcare system fixed, to their advantage. Not to the advantage of the major pharmaceutical and insurance companies. The PEOPLE OF AMERICA, must rise up and let their voices be heard over the den of the lobbyists, who want to maintain their largess for their corporate benefactors.

Posted by: demtse | July 20, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

My final post on

Here is an excerpt from Mr. Steinhauser's contributed to article at;

"Democrats argued the CBO analysis failed to take into account the financial impact of cost-cutting measures under discussion as well as how stronger preventive care programs will reduce demand and costs."

This is wishy washy. Why?
Because taking into account is not "actuarily sound" in terms of being exact and accountable due to monetary audit. You can't measure in dollars "incentives" such as people excercising and watching their weight. Why?
Ask Oprah, ask Dr. Oz, ask your own doctor who's knowledgeable about this. You can't gage WHAT IF's!!!

You can't say we could save 10 billion, IF 4 million overweight people engage in dietary exercise and then only 400,000 show up. Count that shortfall!

You can't preventive medicice or preventive care is a shoo in on a MONETARY BUDGET!

Our military can't use what if for JETS. They need to know for certain the path toward a good jet and SEE a workable example.

What are we doing here, making the human tow the horse on the buggy?

The other thing is DISCUSSION. Well Finish the Discussion! I smell a back hand move by Timothy Geitner in all this. because once again, we will be told what is going to be done and more detail LATER when they say it failed.

YES IT CAN fail!

Posted by: kurtbw | July 20, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

If you are middle class, and receiving health care benefits from your employer, they will be taxed. If you make more than 200k, you will get taxed. If you don’t make too much, you will be forced to buy insurance with your grocery money. People that don't work will get another entitlement.

Posted by: davideconnollyjr | July 20, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

One of the greatest healthcare issues are Americans lack of common sense. Any idiot can see that the present healthcare system does NOT work for the majority and only serve the well-to-do who are the one's dead set against change. All one needs to do is compare our system with those around the world that do work for the majority to see why the change is needed. Health care should be about providing care not making money.

Posted by: inewsmaster | July 20, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Also one more thing. It is not a shame or problem with his speeches at the NAACP, as I applaude those, but.....

Obama clearly has been out of touch with the very lowest of the people in problem areas, who unlike others want to believe, AREN'T on welfare and HAVE had to use all measures afforded to less than working poor now. Health care WASN'T on their list.

They are those who still are without work since being laid off BEFORE or just befor Obama became President, but what was a normal cycle was aggravated by Obama focusing so long and hard and constant for the wealthy investors who in TARP except for a couple who still wouldn't make loans to small business, even after phone calls. Instead those "who fell through those cracks" are hearing once again another agenda of humungous proportions with a predisposed President who, when he ISN'T addressing the very DOABLE restructure in states with more of the money, than the bailouts on wall street and other entities lying, flies overseas to suck up to RELIGOUS

I hope you see in 2010 and 2012 just how DIVERSE the VOTE IS AGAINST YOU

I don't need an Obama to tell me what I already know and just like he said to all those black people not expect a hand out, then get your da hand out of my pocket!

Posted by: kurtbw | July 20, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

President Obama has botched climate change and foreign policy and now it looks like health care is next.

Congress and the President seem incapable of restraining spending and catering to special interests such as attorneys, hospitals, insurance and drug companies, which have been the scourge of health care consumers for decades.

Instead of picking a nation with a national health service plan and using it as a model, Congress and Obama have given us smoke and mirrors so far. Many people are beginning to doubt if they are up to the task.

Posted by: alance | July 20, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I believe that Obama's supporters are finding out that they, and not just others will be paying for his policies and are changing their minds because of this. Doesn't endear them to me one bit.

Posted by: thebink | July 20, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

The microwave dinner approach to the tough issues facing this country are going to be the downfall of this nation. Six months into his presidency and everyone is obsessing over the President's poll numbers. The Republicans know that by throwing up enough dirt, some will stick. Good for them maybe but bad for the country overall. The President needs to remind people that he was elected to lead the country and not to chase polls. If the Republicans believe that in being negative that they're presenting themselves as a viable alternative, they're in for a very big surprise. The hypocrisy, duplicity and deceptiveness of the Republican Party will always be there as an obstacle for inviting people into their party.

Posted by: ATLGuy | July 20, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Adding billions of dollars of expenses to pay ACORN-type government workers -- to decide who lives or dies -- will only increase our deficit, further steal from our children and grandchildren, and further deteriorate health care.

To fix our health care problems, we need to go in the OPPOSITE direction in which Obama is taking us. A socialized health care system would be another step to destroy our country, our future and the future of our children and grandchildren!

Posted by: AntonioSosa | July 20, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

You know the proof of the truths and wisdom of any leader, or Prophet is whether or not what he says comes true, or nearly true. It has always been that way in any society. Our Government and Obama have stupendous ideas for gross changes which they claim are true and must be enacted at great citizen hardship... Trouble is, none, or a very puny little of what has been forced on us has come true,or helped as proposed, or achieved any sound improvement. Instead, the people are left terrified, dismayed, and we are worse off financially while our elected government officials live the good life of plenty, yet force odious debt and hardship on the people! This really stinks when this is supposed to be a government by and for the people!
We're supposed to believe destroying the health system in the world by nationalizing it, and putting an enormous cost tax on our only U.S. energy sources is going to help us! The worse thing is people are losing faith in our government because they do not tell us things that are true! Their only truth is to take!

Posted by: USDefender | July 20, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Imitating Hugo Chavez, Obama wants to nationalize everything, including our health care system! "Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama!" Chavez cheered on Venezuelan TV. He gushingly added that he and Cuba's Fidel Castro would now have to work harder just to keep up.

No wonder as commented in Pravda, “…the American descent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple…”

Posted by: AntonioSosa | July 20, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Back to the "Common sense" comment by inewsmaster...
I agree with that particular statement.
1.The doctors "practicing" medicine don't have to take classes on nutrition.
2. The "patients" don't want a doctor that tells them "no - you should not eat that" or "change your diet" or "exercise" - they want a doctor that will give them something to make them "feel better" - well, so do drug addicts.
3. Drop the oxymoron "health care". It has nothing to do with "Health" or "care" and everything to do with profit.

Doctors should know what nutritious foods do and which ones to eat for immune system disorders, to boost vitality, to improve sight, etc.,. But they don't. And did you know that doctors are treated like kings by the drug salesmen that come selling their wares??? Ever go to the doctor and have them give you "free" medications?

Fix the system by educating doctors, educating consumers, (by promoting the habit of buying and eating locally produced, fresh foods full of healthful enzymes, minerals and nutrients), stop importing "foods" from foreign countries (and even interstate) and I think you'll see a vast reduction in the need for "health care" -

Posted by: kyfarmer | July 20, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Finally!!!! The ignorance stupor on the part of even the most biased liberals appears to be wearing off. I could see giving another pass at this point if only one program Obozzo proposed had worked even marginally. None has.

This is an inexperienced Senator who has accomplished nothing managerial in his entire life and the imbeciles in DC keep turning over entire industry upon entire industry to his ideological whims.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Accomplish something before you get to make another decision which is costing trillions and affecting millions.

Posted by: Bcamp55 | July 20, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

As small business continues to be stomped out. Now they want us to pay for this health program but they still can't tell us why no one can qualify for a small business loan. The one thing that no one is talking about is tort reform. This whole health thing is a joke. You can not sue the Federal government so that means that the single biggest group of financial supporters of President Obama will no longer be able to sue . This will not happen. Then why the big show? It is just another way Obama and his cronies are using to keep us off track as they wipe out small business. Listen to Obama talk about no tort reform for a national health care system. Who is he kidding?

Posted by: GaryP1 | July 20, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Obama's future is with the midterm elections. If these go largely Democrat then he is probably good for the healthcare issue. HOWEVER the Medicare eligible are NOT receptive to the idea of $300, 500, 600 BILLION etc cuts in their care and these folks vote.
As with Bush he, Obama, is asking noone to sacrifice for anything and if he thinks that the upper income brackets can pay for all of this then he needs to stop smoking whatever it is he is smoking. Well it took him 6 months to finally start downhill and the next bunch of White House hopefulls are gathering.

Posted by: KBlit | July 20, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

People for ObamaCare consistently say "...change in health care is needed, etc."
How come people in Congress and in the White House are against being part of the change? They don't plan on being on rationed health care that the Democrats and the Empty Suit propose that the rest of us will be drafted onto.

Posted by: sperrico | July 20, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Wait, Obama is favored over republican congressional critters by 209 points, and once again -- It's good news for John McCain!!!

I'm amazed at the levels you guys will go to. He only trails congressional r's by 17 among CONSERVATIVES!

Always good news for republicans, even when they are detested by everyone...

Posted by: rat-raceparent | July 20, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse


Obammie knows nothing about how to run the economy? And this is a surprise to who exactly? The man never ran a dog-pound much less anything else.


Posted by: flintston | July 20, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I just listened to an interview with the former minister of health in Canada, I dare Mitch McConnel to face him on a news show, he'd have to take a shower after to get all the rotten egg off his face.

Just when you think that the BS can't get anymore smellier or come anymore faster, you get a GOP'er who proves that there is no boundary that can contain it.

Posted by: AverageJane | July 20, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

If this Health Care Bill is universal, why isn't the congressial and presidential health care covered by it?

Posted by: Eagle1025 | July 20, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Obama and democrats are walking a dangerously microscopic tightrope with the freedom of Americans. The government was never created to work like this and Obama is trampling over the constitutional rights of all Americans with what he is trying to force on us and yes, I say force. 83% of Americans are satisfied with their health plan as it is, sure they would like the costs to go down, but they don't want it changed and run by the government. Obama goes out and lies through his teeth. Read page 16 of the bill. On hotair blog archive they have researched this issue and thus follows:

"From the House Ways and Means Committee:
The provision in the bill would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of “Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage,” the “Limitation On New Enrollment” section of the bill clearly states:
“Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day” of the year the legislation becomes law.
So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised — with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won’t be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers.
Surprise! You can, as Obama promised, keep your current coverage — as long as it remains available. However, if your employer stops offering health-care benefits, or if you buy it privately and your insurer cancels your plan, you can’t just pick up another private plan. Enrollments will be closed as of the first day the bill becomes law.
That will have the effect of forcing millions of people into the public plan whether they want it or not. Even worse, if insurers get barred from attracting new customers — which this clause outlaws — then they will eventually see their rolls drained, thanks to the natural flow of the market as employers drop plans and skip the expense of offering medical insurance. It won’t take long at all for insurers to exit the market and leave the field for just the public plan, which will automatically get the customers of each individual insurer as they close up shop."
Obama is bankrupting our country!

Posted by: chloe_658 | July 20, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse


The healthcare reform bill released by the House Of Representatives is an excellent bill as I understand it. It's a bill with a strong, robust, government-run public option, and an intelligent, reasonable initial funding plan to cover almost all of the American people. It is carefully written, and thoughtfully constructed, informed, prudent and wise. This bill will save trillions of dollars, and millions of your lives. It is also now supported by the AMA.

This is the type of bill that all Americans can feel good about. And this is the type of bill that has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of healthcare for all Americans. Rich, middle class and poor a like. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and all other party affiliations. This bill has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of life of every American.

The house healthcare bill should be viewed as the minimum GOLD STANDARD by which all other proposed healthcare legislation should be judged. All supporters of true high quality healthcare reform should now place all your support behind this healthcare reform bill released by the United States House Of Representatives, as the minimum Gold standard for healthcare reform in America.

You should all now support this bill with all your might, and all of your unrelenting tenacity. This healthcare bill is a VERY, VERY GOOD! bill for all of the American people. Fight tooth, and nail for every bit of this bill if you have too. Be aggressive, creative, and relentless for this bill.

From this time forward, go BIGGER and DEEPER with the American people every day until passage of healthcare reform with a robust, government-run public option.

FIGHT!! like your life and the lives of your loved ones depends on it. BECAUSE IT DOES!


Senator Bernie Sanders on healthcare (

God Bless You

Jack Smith — Working Class

Posted by: JackSmith1 | July 21, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Jack Smith, Working Class: The Democrats just deep-sixed an amendment that would have required proof of citizenship in order to benefit from their new health care plan. That means illegal immigrants and their huge families can pile on as much as they want for the "free" healthcare, while older Americans who paid taxes and Medicare taxes all their lives will get the shaft. The Democrats screwed us all when they refused to restrict their "free" healthcare plan to those who would have to pay for it.

Posted by: MaryJessel | July 21, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company