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Health care reform: Wanted? Dead or alive?

Americans are evenly split on whether comprehensive health care reform has a chance of passing this year, according to the new Washington Post-ABC News poll, with supporters of the plan optimistic about its chances and opponents sure of its defeat.

Among those who say its time has passed, there's little consensus on who is responsible for its demise.

Overall, 48 percent in the poll say there's a chance the proposed changes could become law, 46 percent say the plan is dead. Among backers of comprehensive reform, 69 percent say the bill has a chance of becoming law, while nearly as many opponents say it won't happen this year (65 percent).

Q. Regardless of your own preference, given what you've heard, do you think a comprehensive health care reform plan has a chance of becoming law this year, or do you think health care reform is dead?


About a third of those who say major reform won't pass say Republicans in Congress brought an end to the effort (34 percent), while three in 10 say it is because of congressional Democrats (28 percent), about two in 10 point the finger at President Obama (17 percent) and 3 percent volunteer Obama and the Democrats together. About one in eight say all three are to blame.

Those who support the plan but think it won't become law are far more apt to say Republicans are to blame for the bill's difficulties (64 percent) than Obama (6 percent) or the Democrats in Congress (14 percent) or both (4 percent). But opponents are more divided. Just over a third (35 percent) say Democrats stopped it, 23 percent say it was Obama (5 percent both) and 20 percent highlight the role Republicans played.

Q. (If health reform "dead") Who do you think is mainly responsible for that?

Support proposed reform


Oppose proposed reform


The poll was conducted by telephone Feb. 4-8 among a random national sample of 1,004 adults including users of both conventional and cellular telephones. The results from the full survey have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points; it is larger for subgroups.

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  February 10, 2010; 8:45 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Health care  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Poll: Bipartisanship popular, compromise tricky
Next: Post-ABC poll: financial regulations


The biggest problem in this health debate is education. We the people of the united states have failed when it comes to civics and history. I myself, a republican, was all worried about mandates and unconstitutionality of the health care bill, and I was TOTALLY wrong. I am not all the blame maybe some of the stations I listen to had an influence but I saw this article that really opened my eyes, the article detailed why the health bill is not a mandate neither unconstitutional, I think every conservative should take the time and read,

Posted by: republicanblack | February 10, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

This poll is split about evenly, each side blaming the other. Here is a question I would rather have answered: What percentage of Americans use their brains for thinking these days? Not just for working, functioning, daily living, etc.. but for thinking. Who puts aside everything they are fed by the media, big-ego pundits, and anyone else spewing generic, ulterior motive-driven BS, and thinks?
We could get so much more done if everyone looked at the facts, and thought about things before forming "opinions."
Polls are garbage- who cares what people "think" if that thought is not theirs.

Posted by: NashHole | February 10, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that Obama doesn't get a big share of the blame for the failure of health care even among opponents. Strange disconnect between this result and the polls showing widespread disapproval of Obama's handling of health care as a whole.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | February 10, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

The electorate does not like to see mammoth bills causing seismic change in the country for better or for worse.... especially when that mammoth bill has a $1 TRILLION price tag when we are running break-the-bank deficits!

Why are the Dems so opposed to INCREMENTAL regulatory changes to help restructure the market for health insurance and healthcare services?

Smaller, incremental changes can more easily be explained to & understood by the electorate... and there is less to fear, b/c incremental changes can be quickly modified, repealed, or expanded based upon the regulations merits/shortcomings.

The reason why the Dems want these huge bills is they want to make our healthcare system more like Canada's or Great Britain's (God forbid)... and you can't get there w/ incremental changes.. How many of the Dems, including the President himself, have been caught on video saying that they want a single-payer system?

Posted by: 1hughjass | February 10, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Ask Not What Your Insurer Can Do For You...
One of our family members here in California was stunned last week when she received a letter from her health insurer telling her that her monthly premium will go up by almost 40% next month. It’s worth noting that the parent company of the insurer involved, Anthem Blue Cross, WellPoint Inc., earned profits of $2.7 billion in the last quarter of 2009, an increase of 26% over the corresponding quarter the previous year. United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent a letter to Anthem Blue Cross President Leslie Margolin yesterday calling on the company to publicly justify its decision to raise premiums by as much as 39% for its California customers. To paraphrase President John F. Kennedy – “And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your insurer can do for you – ask what you can do for your [...]

Posted by: verna2 | February 10, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

For an inside look at what to expect from federal health care, I got an earful from a nurse at a federally operated clinic. She treats individuals that have residences in government housing. Over the last two weeks, she has seen over a third of her patients come down with continual vomiting, which has lasted for 5 to 6 days. Some are being put on IVs. Her administrator will not conduct testing in hopes of controling the news of the situation. It is what he calls "conservative" care... don't do anything, wait and see if they get well without treatment. Good for his budget. She said the count has risen to over two hundred people, and still no treatment. Those that are sick don't have to pay for their insurance coverage, guess you get what you pay for.

Posted by: gwilson3 | February 10, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

It's easy to cite out the outlier - supporters blaming Republicans. Although most know Republicans had no say in the bills or the process. Their only role was delaying the votes and processes long enough for the public and media to see the radical agenda and unethical actions of Democrats to pass it. That's like blaming Frank Wills for Watergate. The irrationality of the opinion is reflected that "all" drops among supporters as they attempt to deflect opinion from Democrats and Obama.

Posted by: cprferry | February 11, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

There certainly was a lack of education concerning the healthcare reform bill!! Republicans were in fact asked to submit proposals but they offered nothing of substance or specificity---only generalities!! What is far worse is the many systemactic and loud LIES told about the healthcare reform package. Republicans bear a great responsibility for where things stand now. Now the question is: will we reward those lies or spank them in November!

Posted by: TominNH | February 15, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Oppps. I forgot one thing:

to 1hughjas: If you do the slighest bit of research, you will find that single payer univfersal healthcare has FAR more support among Americans than this bill has!

Posted by: TominNH | February 15, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I want single payer /public option and these "polls" (in)conveniently sidestep this part of the debate. Most people want it and I would even go so far as to say that most people would even favor paying in some fair sort of taxation (by income tax, or tax on unhealthy lifestyles and of course businesses being given taxed if they fall into the right corporate size or they desire to buy into it.

Posted by: glenglish | February 17, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

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