Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The US and Republicans Want Health Care Law Repealed....?

Rasmussen Reports polling has come out with a survey that says that support for repeal for the Obama health care law now stands at 60% for at least somewhat in favor of repeal to 38% against. They say 49% strongly favor repeal (but don't say why) . This poll came out on Monday and is higher than the 55%-41% ratio that was reported for a poll taken on Dec 17-18. Their press release on the survey can be read here.

Health Care Law - Rasmussen Reports™

Rasmussen charges $19.95/month for a platinum membership for access to the full survey and crosstabulations which I refuse to pay (the wording of the questions can be read here). As luck would have it CNN conducted a similar survey of 1,008 adults over Dec 17-19 which found a similar 54%-43% split and made the questions and crosstabulations available for free (just as they did with their exit poll and Fox News did not). The full report can be read at:

Interviews with 1,008 adult Americans conducted by telephone
by Opinion Research Corporation on December 17-19, 2010. The
margin of sampling error for results based on the total sample is
plus or minus 3 percentage points.


The poll did break down the reasons why they oppose the law and tracked the responses over time. As in my other post on health care law polling those who favor the law combined with those who oppose it because it is not liberal enough comprise a majority of the population. As can be seen from the table, with the margin of error from each survey at +/- 3%, that, if anything, the percentage of those favoring the law has increased slightly from 39% to 43%, while those who oppose it for being too liberal decreased slightly from 43% to 37%. Those who oppose if for being not liberal enough showed no change at 13% and those who express no opinion showed hardly any change. The questions are worded as such followed by the responses from both questions combined.

24. As you may know, a bill that makes major changes to the country's health care system became law earlier this year. Based on what you have read or heard about that legislation, do you generally favor or generally oppose it?
25. (IF OPPOSE) Do you oppose that legislation because you think its approach toward health care is too liberal, or because you think it is not liberal enough?


Dec 17-19
2010
Aug. 6-10
2010
Mar 19-21
2010
Favor
43%
40%
39%
Oppose, too liberal
37%
41%
43%
Oppose, not liberal enough
13%
13%
13%
No opinion
7%
6%
5%

The report on page 5 shows predictably how support for the law differs across genders (with women more likely to oppose it for not being liberal enough 15% to 10%) and across racial and income groups (with whites more likely to oppose it for being too liberal than nonwhites 42%-22% and higher income groups opposing it similarly relative to low income 47%-26%). Liberals, moderates, and conservatives favor and oppose the law in predicable directions.

The poll then went on to question the respondents about three specific provisions in the new law: the individual mandate requiring everyone not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid or other governmental insurance to purchase private insurance, preventing insurance companies from dropping for people who become seriously ill, and also preventing insurance companies from denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions. The results are summarized in the table below. The least popular individual mandate which was declared unconstitutional by a Virginia Federal Judge has been steadily losing popularity. The other two provisions preventing insurance companies from denying coverage due to illness have been consistently popular.

26. Now here are a few provisions in the health care bill. Please tell me whether you favor or oppose
each one: (RANDOM ORDER)

Favor
Oppose
No opinion
Requiring all Americans who do not have
health insurance to get it
December 17-19, 2010
38%
60%
2%
August 6-10, 2010
44%
56%
1%
February 12-15, 2010
45%
53%
1%
November 13-15, 2009*
49%
49%
1%
Preventing health insurance companies from dropping coverage for people who
become seriously ill
December 17-19, 2010
61%
39%
*
August 6-10, 2010
59%
41%
*
February 12-15, 2010
62%
38%
*
November 13-15, 2009*
60%
39%
*
Preventing health insurance companies from denying coverage to people with
pre-existing conditions
December 17-19, 2010
64%
35%
1%
August 6-10, 2010
58%
42%
1%
February 12-15, 2010
58%
42%
1%
November 13-15, 2009*
60%
40%
1%

Pages 7 thru 9 summarize the breakdown of these three questions by demographics and ideology. They indicate fairly consistent opposition to the individual mandate with somewhat higher opposition in whites and men than nonwhites and women but the differences are within the statistical margin of error so no definitive conclusions can be drawn. There is some ideological division on this issue but it is not wide between liberals and moderates with stronger opposition among conservatives.

Support for placing limitations on insurance companies is fairly consistent across genders, racial groups, income levels, ideologies, political parties, and regions of the US such as in the table below for preventing insurance companies from dropping coverage for those who become seriously ill. Even 63% of tea party supporters support this provision and 55% of them support the provision preventing insurance companies from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions. Many of them do not seem to mind government intervention in this case.




Political Party
Political Ideology
Total
Democrat
Independent
Republican
Liberal
Moderate
Conservative
Favor
61%
63%
62%
56%
61%
64%
59%
Oppose
39%
37%
38%
44%
39%
36%
41%
Sampling Error
+/-3.0
+/-5.5
+/-4.5
+/-6.0
+/-7.5
+/-5.0
+/-5.0

Not asked in the CNN poll (or perhaps Rasmussen) is ways in which the law could be made more liberal such as with a public option or single payer alternatives. The unpopularity of the individual mandate suggests that further follow up information may need to be collected on this question.

The ideological divide on health care becomes less clear when you start talking about specific proposals and don't hide behind catch phrases like 'big government.' I'm not going to pay the $19.95 just to see exactly what was asked and what was the demographic breakdown for Rasmussen's poll. They say in their press release that "With the Republican takeover of the House driven in part by widespread opposition to the health care law, debate is already heavy in Washington over whether the new GOP majority will push for full repeal of the measure. But 52% of voters think
Congress should review the health care bill piece by piece and keep the parts it likes."

Which parts of the law would the new teary eyed Speaker John Boehner like? The ones the tea party likes or the ones the insurance companies like? Will Obama stick to his principles when it matters most? Stay tuned.

**Related Posts**

Health Care Law - New Rasmussen Poll Down the Memory Hole

 

POLL: Dislike of healthcare law crosses party lines, 1 in 4 Dems want repeal - TheHill.com (But Doesn't Ask Why)


Ezra Klein - Column: A world with an individual mandate


Teapartiers sandbagged by health insurers | MollyRush's Blog and a calculation mortality rates for lack of insurance. 

 

 Cognitive dissonance in Pittsburgh and beyond: Want to die?


**Update**

Rasmussen published another poll on the health care law showing a 60%-36% in favor of repeal. This time they did also not make the cross tabulations available for free but they did make the wording of the questions available. The questions that are asked are as revealing as the the ones that are not. There's no question about why repeal might be desired as in the CNN poll. In question 4 respondents are asked about their coverage but there's no alternative for the uninsured which is estimated to be 50 million or 17% of the US population. The title of their press release and the wording of question four indicate that the uninsured were excluded from their sample. There was no discussion of demographics either in the press release. The press release for this survey can be read here.

Health Care Law

National Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters
Conducted January 2, 2011 2010
By Rasmussen Reports
1* Will the health care plan passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama be good for the country or bad for the country?
2* A proposal has been made to repeal the health care bill and stop it from going into effect. Do you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose a proposal to repeal the health care bill?
3* How likely is it that passage of the health care reform plan will mean you have to change your own insurance coverage?
4* How do you rate your own health insurance coverage?
NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence