Poll: Support For Health Care Reform Drops

CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.

Updated Wednesday at 8 a.m. ET

Americans continue to be more likely to disapprove than approve of President Obama's sweeping health care reforms, a new CBS News poll shows. While approval of the law is slightly higher than it was when the reforms were signed into law in March, support for the measure has dropped seven points in the past two months.

Forty-nine percent of Americans now disapprove of the health care reform measure, according to the poll, which was conducted July 9 - 12. Thirty-six percent support the law.

In a May CBS News poll, 47 percent disapproved of the new laws, while 43 percent approved.

While the new poll shows a recent drop in support, the numbers have still improved overall since March, when 53 percent of Americans disapproved of the new laws and 32 percent said they approved of them.

Most Republicans and independents disapprove of the reform package, the poll finds, while most Democrats approve of it.

Americans continue to see little personal benefit from the health care reform legislation. By more than two to one, Americans think it will hurt (33 percent) rather than help them (13 percent). Forty-eight percent expect the reform to have no effect on them personally.

When asked to name the country's most important problem, 6 percent named health care - about the same percentage of Americans who named the federal deficit (5 percent) and the Gulf oil spill (5 percent). The most cited problem by far, at 38 percent, was the economy.

Thirty-nine percent of Americans said Mr. Obama has spent relatively too much time on health care reform. Thirty-one percent said he has spent the right amount of time on it, while 24 percent said he has spent too little time.

More from the poll:

Obama's Approval Rating on Economy Drops
Poll: Americans Say Bad Economy Will Linger
Poll: Most Want Afghanistan Withdrawal Timeline
Poll: Support for Arizona Immigration Law Hits 57 Percent

Read the Complete Poll

This article was corrected to note that support for health care dropped seven points, not five points, in the past two months.


This poll was conducted among a random sample of 966 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone July 9-12, 2010. Phone numbers were dialed from random digit dial samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. 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.

This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

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