Far from overreaching on health care reform, a plurality of the public thinks President Obama and Democrats have done too little to regulate the insurance industry, hold down costs and extend coverage, a new poll finds.
Forty-three percent of Americans said the health care bill goes “not far enough” in regulating health insurance companies, according to a new CBS survey released Monday evening. Just 18 percent deemed it “about right” and 27 percent thought it “go[es] to far.”
Thirty-nine percent said the legislation doesn’t achieve strong enough cost controls one of the leading goals of reform as opposed to 24 percent who believed it goes too far and 21 percent that are satisfied.
The public was also underwhelmed by the bill’s provisions to extend coverage. Thirty-five percent said its efforts aren’t strong enough, as opposed to 32 percent who believed it goes too far and 22 percent who were satisfied.
The study contradicts the common argument made by the Republican Party and some conservative Democrats that the bill forces too much change upon the American people.
This case was famously echoed by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) last month, compelling the Democratic leadership to scrap the public insurance option in a do-or-die effort to secure his vote.
In recent months, the popularity of the overall health care bill has notably dropped, with conservatives and moderates growing increasingly skeptical and liberals disenchanted with the jettisoning of major provisions.
But the public option has remained highly popular among the people — yet highly controversial in Congress — throughout the year. The day after the provision was scrapped from the Senate bill, a CBS poll found that six in ten Americans supported it.
The Senate bill that passed relies on a combination of federal subsidies and individual mandates to bring more people into the system. It also restricts private insurers from denying care to sick patients and those with pre-existing conditions.
The Congressional Budget Office says the legislation will insure an additional 30 million Americans, bringing the total covered to 94 percent of legal residents, as well as bend the cost curve and reduce the deficit by 2019.
The health care bill approved by the House of Representatives included a public plan, but it is widely believed that the final bill will exclude it.
The CBS poll also found that while a majority of the populace (54 percent) disapproves of President Obama’s handling of health care reform, the public was even more negative on Congressional Democrats (57 percent) and Congressional Republicans (61 percent) on the issue.