When asked about Obama's plan (without being given any details about what the legislation includes), 49 percent opposed it and 40 percent were in favor. But after hearing key features of the legislation described, 48 percent supported the plan and 43 percent remained opposed.
The NEWSWEEK Poll asked respondents about eight health-care-reform provisions that Obama and many Democrats in Congress have generally supported. It found that the majority of Americans supported five of those provisions, three by particularly large margins. Eighty-one percent agreed with the creation of a new insurance marketplace, the exchange, for individual subscribers to compare plans and buy insurance at a competitive rate. Seventy-six percent thought health insurers should be required to cover anyone who applies, including those with preexisting conditions; and 75 percent agreed with requiring most businesses to offer health insurance to their employees, with incentives for small-business owners to do so.
Not all Democrat positions received such high marks. Imposing a fine on individuals who do not buy health insurance was the least popular provision, supported by only 28 percent and opposed by 62 percent. Fifty-five percent opposed the so-called Cadillac tax on the most expensive health-insurance plans.
The shift in support for health-care reform, after learning specific information about it, was most noticeable among women. Their support went from 42 to 52 percent supportive after hearing the main provisions. Democrats and liberals saw similar shifts. Republicans were much less likely to be swayed by hearing the details; they moved from 15 percent supportive to 18 percent after learning more. There was also little movement among self-described independent voters; after hearing details of the plan, 57 percent were still opposed—down slightly from 62 percent before they knew any specifics.
While the poll indicates high support for key health-care-reform provisions, Americans are, by and large, dissatisfied with Washington's handling of the issue. Only 39 percent approve of how Obama has managed the push for reforming the medical system. But the public is even less supportive of how Congress has handled the debate: only 27 percent approve of the performance by Democrats in Congress and 21 percent for their Republican counterparts...
This poll basically confirmed what I already suspected... the majority of opposition to health insurance and healthcare reform is do to ignorance and the partisan atmosphere that has been created by politicians and the right-wing media.