While several individual components of the plan are popular, reminding voters of what’s included in the plan has virtually no impact on support for the overall legislation. This suggests that there are not major surprises in the legislation that will cause people to change their opinion of it.
The new figures include only 19% who strongly favor the plan and 46% who strongly oppose it.
After considering their views of the individual aspects of the plan, there was virtually no change in overall opinions of the legislation. Before hearing about the individual aspects of the plan, 39% favored the legislation, and 58% were opposed. After hearing the details, 39% were in favor, and 60% opposed.
Hardly anybody who initially had strong feelings changed their mind. Of those who initially Strongly Favored the plan, just four percent (4%) opposed it after hearing the details. Among those who Strongly Favor the legislation, only one percent (1%) favored it after listening to the component parts. There was some modest shifting between those who somewhat favored or somewhat opposed the legislation.
These findings, combined with the stability of opinion over the past six weeks, suggest that voter opinion has reached a point of stability and is unlikely to shift significantly prior to the final congressional vote. It is, of course, possible that actual implementation of the program could shift opinion in either direction.
It is interesting to note that attitudes towards the plan vary sharply based upon what people see as the primary problem with health care today. Fifty-three percent (53%) say cost is the biggest problem while 23% cite the lack of universal coverage and 13% name the quality of care.
Among those who see the lack of universal coverage as the biggest problem, 86% favor the legislation.
However, among the majority who see cost as the biggest issue, 68% are opposed.As for those who see the quality of care as the top issue, 87% are opposed to the plan before Congress.
The voters are not stupid, they trust history, 78% of voters believe the actual cost of the legislation will be higher than projected, only 14% believe the costs are not likely to exceed projections. Voters overwhelmingly believe that passage will lead to higher deficits and higher middle-class taxes. Eighty-one percent think passage of the legislation is somewhat likely to lead to higher middle-class taxes, 68% believe the legislation will increase the federal budget deficit
Fifty-three percent (53%) of voters say the cost of care is the biggest health care problem that needs to be addressed. Among this group, 89% say the proposed legislation is likely to exceed cost expectations, 79% believe the plan will increase deficits, and 90% think it is likely to lead to higher taxes for the middle class.
Twenty-three percent (23%) say the lack of universal coverage is the biggest health care problem while 13% cite the quality of care.
Democrats and liberals have more confidence in the plan’s cost projections than other voters, but the belief that it will cost more than projected is shared by majorities in all partisan, demographic and ideological groups.
Among Democrats, 42% believe the proposed legislation will increase deficits while 20% believe it will achieve the stated goal of deficit reduction.
As they have all year, voters say cutting the federal deficit in half by the end of his first term is President Obama’s number one budget priority, with health care reform coming in second. Democrats put the emphasis on health care reform, while Republicans and voters not affiliated with either party think deficit cutting is more essential.
If I was in congress I would be a bit worried, it looks as if the people are aware of their little tricks.