Poll: Most Back Dems In Kids' Health Fight

Health: kids, caduceus, children, boy AP / CBS

As Democrats try to rally support to override President Bush's veto, a CBS News poll finds an overwhelming majority of Americans support legislation that would expand a popular children's health insurance program.

Eight in 10 Americans favor expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or S-CHIP, including large majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.

While the president has raised concerns about the additional cost of expanding S-CHIP, those who favor the proposal say they'd even be willing to pay more in taxes to help the program cover more children.

More generally, the poll finds that only about one in five Americans (22 percent) approve of the president's handling of health care. That's lower even than his approval rating on Iraq (26 percent).

WOULD YOU FAVOR OR OPPOSE EXPANDING S-CHIP?

Favor
81%
Oppose
15%

WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO PAY MORE TAXES TO EXPAND S-CHIP? (Among those who favor expanding S-CHIP)

Yes
74%
No
17%

Mr. Bush's overall approval rating remains at 30 percent, slightly above the 27 percent approval for Congress.

While the showdown over S-CHIP doesn't appear to have given a boost to the president or the Congress, it may have helped push health care to the forefront of the 2008 presidential campaign.

Health care now ranks second - nearly equal with the war in Iraq - as the issue voters most want to hear the presidential contenders discuss. Jobs and the economy ranks third.

On other issues, the poll finds:

  • Nearly two-thirds of Americans (63 percent) continue to believe the war is going badly. A large majority also want troops out of Iraq within the next few years, though most don't think that's likely to happen.

  • Americans are divided in assessing the condition of the national economy: half say it's good and half say it's bad. When looking ahead, however, 45 percent say the economy is getting worse, while only 9 percent say it's getting better

  • Americans remain concerned about the financial condition of Social Security as the oldest baby-boomers start to collect their first checks. Thirty percent say the system is in crisis, and another 36 percent say it's in serious financial trouble. Just 5 percent say the system is not in trouble.

    Read the complete poll results here.

    This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1282 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone October 12-16, 2007. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher.
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