However, very large numbers of people still do not know what is and is not in the bill. And when asked about some of the key elements of the bill, relatively few people want to repeal them, with the very important exception of the so-called "individual mandate" -- that everyone should have or buy insurance -- which a 51% to 20% majority would like to repeal.
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,185 adults surveyed online
Other important findings in this Harris Poll include:
- When asked about six important elements of the bill, large numbers of people (from 66% to 37%) are not sure if they are or are not part of the bill. Modest majorities believe, correctly, that the following are in the bill:
- Not allowing insurers to deny coverage to people because they are sick (54%);
- Allowing children to stay on their parents' insurance until they are 26 (55%); and,
- That all employers with more than 50 employees must offer their employees affordable coverage (51%).
- However other important elements of the bill are not known to most people including:
- An annual fee to be paid by drug companies (20% know); and,
- Tax credits for small business to provide insurance to their employees (39%).
- Sizable minorities continue to believe that the following (which are not in it) are all part of the bill:
- A new government run health plan (36%);
- New ways to ration care (31%);
- A cut in
Medicarebenefits (29%); and,
- Panels to decide what care very sick, older patients should receive -- the so-called "death panels" (27%).
When shown eleven important elements of the bill, majorities want to keep seven of them and pluralities want to keep three of the other four. However a 51% to 20% majority wants to repeal the "individual mandate" that requires people to have or buy insurance. Substantial numbers (from 23% to 41%) are not sure whether they want to keep or repeal these eleven elements of the bill.
These new poll results, and the many other surveys about the health care reform bill (the Affordable Care Act), point to the following conclusions:
- Most of the opposition to the ACA is not based on what is actually in the bill.
- Rather it reflects a general hostility to
President Obamaand the fears of many Conservatives and Republicans that he and the Democrats are intent on expanding the role of government.
- In other words opposition to the ACA is based on the fact that it is the President's bill ("Obamacare") and that is one more step to increase "big government."
- Because the ACA is so complicated, it seems to be easier for critics to attack it with sound bites, broad generalizations about the expansion of government and "socialism," then it is for defenders of the bill who tend to focus on the details of the bill itself.
These poll findings suggest that the supporters of the bill need to do a better job of describing and explaining the specific benefits of the bill to the public, not just as tax-payers and citizens, but as consumers of health care services.
SUPPORT OR OPPOSE OBAMA'S REFORM PROPOSALS – TREND
"Even if you don't know the details of his plan, how do you feel about
Base: All Adults