Americans Want Changes to Obama's Healthcare Reform

Continuing to press for repeal of the healthcare law keeps Republicans in sync with a vast majority of the electorate.

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Continuing to press for repeal of the nation’s new healthcare law keeps the Republicans in sync with a vast majority of the U.S. electorate. According to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, released Friday, voters "overwhelmingly want to see last year’s healthcare law changed."

What they want done, however, is not as clear.

The Rasmussen survey finds that, of the 1,000 likely U.S. voters queried, 20 percent want the law repealed "and nothing done to replace it," while 27 percent said they were merely interested in getting rid of its most unpopular provisions. Another 28 percent said they want to see the law repealed as the first step in crafting a new law that contains only the most popular provisions of the reforms, commonly referred to as "Obamacare." [Check out a roundup of political cartoons on Obama.]

"It is worth noting that a majority," pollster Scott Rasmussen said, "take one of the middle ground approaches—repeal and replace or leave it and improve," while, "Overall, 48 percent take an approach that starts with repeal."

"From the beginning, polling has shown that some portions of the law are popular," Rasmussen said. "However, the cost and means of paying for the law are unpopular as is the individual mandate. The Congressional Budget Office has projected that the law will increase government spending but reduce the deficit. Most voters believe the program will cost more than projected and increase the federal budget deficit." [Read more about the deficit and national debt.]

Of particular importance to the development of a new policy is the fact that a majority of likely voters surveyed "oppose the requirement in the new law that every American must buy or obtain health insurance," which is the cornerstone of Obamacare. Without the mandate, many healthcare analysts say, the whole program falls apart.

"Most Republicans and unaffiliated voters prefer to start with repeal," Rasmussen said, while "Most Democrats prefer to start by leaving the law in place. Republicans are fairly evenly divided between repealing the law and doing nothing or repealing the law and putting its popular provisions into a new law. Democrats are fairly evenly divided between leaving the law alone or starting with the existing law and removing the unpopular provisions." [Check out a roundup of political cartoons on healthcare.]

Interestingly, Rasmussen found that "Most government workers prefer to start with the existing law in place, while most entrepreneurs prefer to start with repeal." According to the data, most private sector workers are "more evenly divided" on the subject of what reform should look like, despite the fact that it does not fully go into effect for several more years.

The survey was conducted on January 11-12, 2011, and the margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

  • Check out a roundup of political cartoons on healthcare.
  • Read more about the deficit and national debt.
  • Follow the money in Congress.