Just 36 percent of Americans approve of Mr. Obama's handling of health care, according to the poll, conducted from Jan. 6 – 10. Fifty-four percent disapprove. In December of last year, 42 percent of Americans approved of the president's handling of health care, and 47 percent approved in October.
Yet things could be worse: With Democrats in Congress continuing to negotiate the terms of their comprehensive health care package, both Congressional Republicans and Democrats receive even lower marks than the president on the issue, the poll shows.
About six in 10 Americans continue to disapprove of how both Democrats and Republicans in Congress are handling health care reform: 57 percent disapprove of how Democrats are handling the issue, while 61 percent disapprove of how Republicans are handling it.
Approval among each party's own supporters is also low. Just 48 percent of Democrats approve of how Democrats in Congress are handling health care, while only 43 percent of Republicans approve of how their party in Congress is handling the issue.
Moreover, there is little consensus that the reforms under consideration represent the right approach. Only about one in five Americans thinks the reforms strike the right balance when it comes to expanding coverage, controlling costs and regulating insurance companies.
The public is divided on whether the reforms go too far or not far enough in providing health coverage to as many Americans as possible, and about four in 10 think the reforms do not do enough to lower costs or regulate insurance companies.
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CBS News Poll Database
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This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1,216 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone January 6-10, 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.