55 Percent Think Obama Should ‘Start Over’ on Health Care Reform, Poll Finds
March 9, 2010 - 5:24 PMA Rasmussen Reports survey found that 55 percent of Americans think that Congress should throw the current health care plan out and start fresh, suggesting that President Obama's demand that Congress pass his reform proposal has failed to sway the public.
The poll of 1,000 likely voters, which was released on March 5, showed that a majority of both Republicans and independents favor starting fresh on health care reform, giving congressional Republicans added ammunition as they oppose Obama’s final push for the unpopular legislation.
Only 37 percent of Americans think Congress should continue to build on the bill Democrats have been debating amongst themselves for nearly a year.
Most of those supporters are, unsurprisingly, Democrats, 66 percent of whom support the current effort. Opposition to the plan, and support for starting over, appears to enjoy bipartisan support, the poll found.
Twenty-five percent of Democrats join most Republicans and independents in favor of scrapping the current legislation and starting the process over. Republicans favor starting over (85 percent), while independents favor a fresh start two-to-one.
An even larger percentage of Americans – 60 percent – tell Rasmussen that if Democrats don’t start over completely, they should at least modify their bill to attract significant Republican support. Only 31 percent think that Democrats should take Obama’s advice and pass it with or without the GOP.
These numbers track closely with overall approval of Obama’s signature legislative goal, which has been unpopular with a majority of Americans since September – a problem it still faces today according to Rasmussen, which found that Americans still oppose the current health care 52 to 44 percent.
The survey also found general pessimism about the current crop of Washington politicians, finding that only 18 percent believe that if Congress passes a health care bill, it will be a bipartisan effort. Sixty-four percent thought a health care bill would include only Democratic ideas.
Asked whether they thought politics in Washington would change in Obama’s second year, the vast majority said that things would only get worse, with 65 percent responding that they thought politics would become more partisan over the coming year.