March 31, 2010
3/31: Handling of Health Care Gets “Thumbs-Down” From Majority of Voters
The White House achieved a major victory by passing health insurance reform. But, when it comes to American voters’ views toward how the president handles the issue of health care, the reviews are not glowing.
53% of registered voters nationwide disapprove of how President Barack Obama is managing health care. 41%, on the other hand, approve, and 6% are unsure. There has been little change on this question since Marist last asked it in December. At that time, 53% disapproved of the president’s handling of the issue, and 40% approved. 7% were unsure.
“While some voters may be in President Obama’s corner on health care, he has yet to convince a majority of the electorate that his health care initiative was the right thing to do,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.
The health care debate in Congress was far from a friendly bipartisan discussion, and the American electorate reflects this divide. Nearly seven in ten Democrats — 69% — approve of how the president is dealing with health care while 89% of Republicans disapprove of the president’s approach. As for independents, a majority — 56% — disapprove of how President Obama is handling health care.
Voters Divide About Historic Nature and Constitutionality of Health Care Legislation
48% of the American electorate believe the recently passed health care legislation is a mistake. However, 45% say it is a milestone. 7% are unsure.
Once again, there is a partisan divide on this question. 74% of Democrats say the bill marks a major point in our nation’s history. 84% of Republicans report the bill’s passage was a blunder. 51% of independents also think the legislation was a mistake.
As to whether voters think the legislation is constitutional, there is also a split decision. From what they have read or heard, 46% think it is constitutional while 42% say it is unconstitutional. 12% are unsure.
Health Care: An Image Changer for the President?
While a majority of voters — 53% — say their opinion of the president has not changed in the wake of the passage of health insurance reform, nearly three in ten — 29% — say their view of the president has gotten worse. Just 18% say it has improved.