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Gallup poll: Americans favor more stimulus, partial health-care repeal

The lead of the latest Gallup poll is that 60 percent of Americans "favor additional government spending to create jobs and stimulate the economy." There's also support of regulations on private-industry carbon emissions, which is positive for those of us who want to see action on coal-fired power plants. But since I linked to an AP/GfK poll earlier today showing the health-care bill getting more popular, I should also note that 50 percent in this poll would support repeal of "all or much" of the health-care bill.

By Ezra Klein  |  June 17, 2010; 4:00 PM ET
Categories:  Polls  
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Next: Research desk: What's a dollar of stimulus worth?


Is there an explanation as to why people oppose health care reform? The stories I read usually describe how we like the individual parts of the package.
In my area of the country I hear a lot of negativity about 'persons of color' receiving something from the government but beside racists and right-wing nuts, what are the objections?
The problem I have with polls is that 'why' is crucial and is rarely covered.

Posted by: ostrogoth | June 17, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

The caveat in the Gallup poll question regarding limiting "energy output" is significant: "it should be noted that the question highlights the positive goal of reducing global warming, but not any of the potential costs for business and consumers."

Interestingly, when considering only independents, the order becomes (1) expand regulation of financial industries, (2) repeal all or part of the PPACA, (3) regulate energy output [disregarding the cost of doing so], and (4) increase stimulus funds.

Again, the Gallup caveat is significant: "it should be noted that the stimulus question wording highlights the economic benefits of new spending. In line with this, recent Gallup polling has found that despite their debt concerns, more Americans choose the ECONOMY than the federal budget DEFICIT when asked how important each will be to their vote for Congress this fall."

Posted by: rmgregory | June 17, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I think there are a lot of people who would partially repeal the bill, if they could, by getting rid of some of the parts they don't like, such as some of the cost savings measures or the individual mandates. Not that many probably want to give the insurance industry the right to go back to rejecting people with preexisting conditions or to eliminate subsidies for health coverage for the poor.

But an undertaking as complex as reforming healthcare has many different moving parts to make it work, in the sense that it expands health care to essentially universal levels while cutting costs and reducing (or not expanding) the budget deficit. So when Congress was trying to fashion a healthcare reform bill it had to include a lot of potentially unpopular provisions, instead of just passing the popular things that might have played better politically but would not have solved, and might have worsened, the cost and coverage problems in the long run. Perhaps we should give Congress, and Obama, credit for political courage instead of simply doing what looked popular at the moment.

Many who would like to "partially" repeal the health care bill probably want much of it changed, and don't want to simply abolish it all and do nothing else. I've noticed, also, that the term "the health care bill" polls worse than the specifics of what is in it and what it will do.

Posted by: mkarns | June 17, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Re: the health care poll question,
what would be the response to the question:

The addition of a public option to the ACA?

Posted by: gobears | June 17, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

What does repealing "much or all" of the health bill even mean? Until I see one of these polls that breaks it down by issue area, I don't think any of this is particularly useful data. "I hate the health bill, but I like that my kids can get insurance, I can't get arbitrarily dropped after paying my insurer, and I'll be able to get coverage even with a pre-existing condition" = "I like the health bill."

If anything a question this general just seems to roughly correspond to "how much you like Barack Obama?"

Posted by: NS12345 | June 17, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Please break down the 50% supporting a partial or total repeal. Are they like the large number of Americans who support reducing the deficit by cutting "other peoples'" programs?

Posted by: ctown_woody | June 17, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

The mainstream media spent a year giving more than equal time to the Republican message machine, whose message was that the American people hate this bill and don't like having it rammed down their throats. Many Americans were consequently persuaded that they did hate the bill, even though they mostly knew (and know) little to nothing of its provisions.

Posted by: thehersch | June 17, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Interesting how AP found such seeming "support" for health reform and Gallup found so much willingness to repeal (at least part) of it. I think the wide variance in issue opinion polls shows that most of the 40% of Americans "in the middle" are so uninformed about politics (and have never stopped to think about it before) that they will provide completely contradictory answers resulting from slight changes in question wording. For more about how many Americans answer surveys by just making "top of the head" remarks because they have no coherent views on these questions, look for "The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion" by John Zaller at your local library or bookstore website. :) It's a polisci classic.

Posted by: vvf2 | June 18, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

When polls ask about the health care, they rarely ask if people don't like it because it doesn't go far enough.

Single Payer National Health Insurance!

Posted by: thebobbob | June 18, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Try and find a medicare doctor if you don't have one. My doctor dropped all medicare patients and I'm still looking for another. The doctors that are out there will keep their current patients but don't want any new one's. I hate Obamacare.

Posted by: farmsnorton | June 19, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

sure here is the obama way of stimulus

Here is how corrupt our politicians are this is a stimulus package and for guess who !!!!READ THIS IS FREAKIN UNREAL

With the support of Sen. Chris Dodd, D.-Conn., the federal government has awarded $54 million to Connecticut's politically well-connected Mohegan Indian tribe, which operates one of the highest grossing casinos in the U.S.

The tribe runs the sprawling Mohegan Sun casino, halfway between New York City and Boston, which earned more than $1.3 billion in gross revenues in 2009. Each tribe member receives a cut of the profits, a number a tribal official said was "less than $30,000" per capita per year. The stimulus money is a loan from a U.S. Department of Agriculture rural development program that is meant to help communities of less than 20,000 people that have been "unable to obtain other credit at reasonable rates and terms and are unable to finance the proposed project from their own resources."


Posted by: yourmomscalling | June 20, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it's a transfer of wealth from the elderly (who have paid into the system all their working lives) to others who don't have insurance or perhaps are about to be given amnesty. But spread the wealth around -- yours, that is. You should happily accept less care than you had a year or two ago.

Posted by: truck1 | June 20, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

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