PRINCETON, NJ -- The majority of Americans believe the healthcare bill Congress is currently considering will benefit those who lack health insurance and lower-income families. Americans tend to see more negative than positive effects on most other groups in society.
The findings that more Americans believe the new legislation will make things worse rather than better for the U.S. as a whole, as well as for them personally, are consistent with previous Gallup polls showing a slight negative tilt when Americans are asked if they support the new plan.
Some experts have argued that the medical establishment will benefit from the new legislation because millions of Americans will suddenly gain health insurance and therefore become healthcare consumers. Americans disagree, perhaps related to President Obama's and congressional Democrats' recent attacks on the insurance industry. By significant margins, Americans perceive that health insurance companies, doctors, and hospitals will be worse off rather than better off if the new bill becomes law.
Gallup has also found that support for a new healthcare bill is highly partisan at the rank-and-file level, with Democrats supporting it and Republicans opposing it. The new data reinforce this partisan division in a slightly different way. Republicans are more negative than Democrats about the future impact of the new legislation on every group tested.
Results are based on telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,009 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted March 17, 2010, as part of Gallup Daily tracking. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.
Interviews are conducted with respondents on land-line telephones and cellular phones.
In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
Polls conducted entirely in one day, such as this one, are subject to additional error or bias not found in polls conducted over several days.