Saturday, July 2, 2011

Poll: Americans Want Health Care Town Halls in their Communities

August 5, 2009 by Patrick  
Filed under Health

Contrary to charges from Democrats that the recent spate of contentions congressional town hall meetings are the result of “Astroturf” and “manufactured anger,” a new CNN poll finds a huge majority of Americans would likely attend such a meeting on the issue of health reform if one was held in their community.

According to the poll conducted between July 31 and August 3, seventy-one percent of respondents would attend “a town hall meeting or some other public forum where voters get a chance to speak” to “tell [their] member of Congress what [they] think about health care.” Forty-one percent say they are “very likely” to do so.

Overall, President Barack Obama’s health care plan is favored by fifty-percent of those polled. Forty-five percent have an unfavorable opinion of his plan. Nevertheless, there appears to be more intensity among those who oppose the plan. Thirty-three percent oppose it strongly while only twenty-three percent support it strongly.

“Nearly half of those who oppose the Obama plan say they are more likely to attend town hall meetings to express their views on health care; only 37 percent of those who support Obama’s plan are very likely to attend a public forum on that issue,” said CNN’s Polling Director Keating Holland.

The poll also shows House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s strategy of turning the insurance companies into “villains” has the potential to backfire. People are no more willing to trust the government to make health care decisions than they are insurance companies.

When faced with decisions “such as which patients get certain treatments, when they get treated, and which treatments are ineffective or too expensive,” forty percent of respondents say they would prefer insurance companies make those decisions and forty percent say they would prefer the government to.

The poll was conducted among 1,136 adults with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.


24 Responses to “Poll: Americans Want Health Care Town Halls in their Communities”
  1. N.J. says:

    The problem with the way these polls are being interpreted is simple. They do not ask what those being polled think of the disruptions at the town hall meetings, nor to they ask if they are being funded and manipulated by groups with an economic interest in blocking health care reform.

    The most recent poll that asks the question “Do you want a government health insurance option to be offered” which was run at the same time as this CNN and the CBS polls, which are the latest shows that 62 percent of those polled want a public option, and only 32 percent do not want one. This was the Quinnipiac Poll 7/27/09 – 8/3/09 Margin of Error +-2%

    “Do you support or oppose giving people the option of being covered by a government health insurance plan that would compete with private plans?”

    support 62% oppose 32% unsure 6%

    How should it be financed?

    The same poll reports:

    “Do you support or oppose requiring businesses with payrolls of 250,000 dollars per year to offer their employees health insurance or pay the government 8 percent of their payroll to underwrite health insurance?”

    support 54% oppose 38% unsure 8%

    Even more succinctly, the three most recent polls of doctors indicates that 59 percent of doctors want a single payer plan that completely eliminates insurance company involvement and 32 percent oppose it. This is up considerably from the last time these polls were done during the 2004 election on heath care reform.

    Yes the public wants the town halls, but this does not automatically translate into them NOT believing that they do not believe that those who are disrupting them are a genuine grassroots movement and not merely astroturf. From the polls above indicating that by a margin of 2 to 1 the majority of Americans want a public plan and a rather large margin also do not mind taxing and surcharging businesses and upper income earners to finance part of it.

    This would be indication enough that those who DO want town hall meetings are not in ideological agreement with those disrupting them. Simply put the extrapolation made in this article is a baseless extrapolation. The data in the poll does not bear out the interpretation that is being given.

  2. Kyda Sylvester says:

    “Overall, President Barack Obama’s health care plan is favored by fifty-percent of those polled.”

    That’s interesting because President Barack Obama doesn’t have a health care plan (and didn’t you hear, we’re not talking about health care reform anymore, we’re talking about health care INSURANCE reform now–please get with the program). House Democrats are working on a plan as are Senate Democrats, but there’s no plan from the White House. I suppose that’s to the president’s advantage, because he can give speeches and have town hall meetings and commandeer television time to give the public assurances about a plan that doesn’t even exist.

    For instance, President Obama assures us that if we like our current plan and our current doctors, we can keep them. No problem. In fact, he personally guarantees it. I suggest he take a look at the House plan (some of the details of which are listed above), because under that plan, he can make no such guarantees. People who get insurance through their employers will have to go where their employers take them. They will have no way of knowing if their doctors will accept their new insurance. People who have individual plans can keep them only as long as those plans make no changes (and I mean NO changes). Once a grandfathered plan changes, it’s no longer eligible under the law and the insured will have to go to a conforming plan. So, the president is either talking through his hat because he’s uninformed or he’s outright lying. Either way, yikes.

    In, short most of the 50 percent who favor Obama’s plan don’t have a clue about what they’re saying they’re in favor of.

  3. cuje says:

    Americans elect a socialist, and then act all surprised and angry when he tries to implement socialist policies! I don’t get it.

  4. Theresa says:

    Phil says:
    “And where’s Senator Shaheen’s personal appearances?”

    I just got off the phone with Shaheen’s office, she is doing a telephone conference town hall meeting. There is a special phone # and a pin # to be able to access and participate in the call.

    When I asked why she was not doing a town hall in person, I was told that was because she was not in New Hampshire at the time and would not be back until next week. I asked if she would be doing a face to face town hall meeting and was told they were still working on her schedule for Aug.

    These non-representing reps are really becoming afraid of us (the voters) and they should be, never has abuse of power been so blatant!

    I am not paid by any organization, nor am I Republican or Democrat, I was not bussed into any area to attend a tea party, I went on my own. These idiots in Washington need to wake up and realize that we are PROUD TO BE AMERICANS, and SOCIALISM IS NOT THE AMERICAN WAY!!!!

  5. mad-as-H says:


    CONSUMERS: Avoid ALL unnecessary purchases.

    SMALL BUSINESS: REFUSE TO HIRE NEW EMPLOYEES until after 2010 or 2012.




  6. Bruce says:

    To Dick Durbin, Brad Woodhouse, Robert Gibbs, and the rest of you disingenuous hacks trying to portray the anti-Obama protest movement as some kind of well-financed propaganda campaign orchestrated by the GOP establishment, I’ll say this.

    Today’s Republican party couldn’t organize a bologna sandwich, let alone a nationwide protest movement.

  7. moron says:

    Baron Obama gave his goons the command to “get in their faces.” ACORN goons are paid with taxpayer funds to drum up illegal votes for the Democrats only. Countless conservative speakers are not allowed to speak by these left wing goons. But an actual questioning of the most significant legislation in modern history, which has not been read by the POTUS or 95% of those voting for it is ti be “Rahmed” through??? Are you serious?? And 53% of the population voted for this disaster when the handwriting was crystal clear from the onset??

  8. According to Rep. Lloyd Doggett [D-TX], the displeased, concerned citizens who tore him a new one at a recent appearence are all hired guns:

    “This notion of a grassroots campaign is totally and completely phony. The Republican Party has coordinated this apparent outrage and stirred it up.”

    Were Republicans truly so powerful, you think they would have marshalled those forces to get McCain elected, vice wasting all that energy afterwards.

    Democrats are having an exceptionally difficult time adjusting to having pissed off regular folks ~ those hard working, every day mushrooms who MOST time vote, but don’t say a whole lot. And having to explain themselves to those same mushrooms, who suddenly have the temerity to QUESTION the socialist wisdom of the current ruling class. God forbid they should answer for anything to anyone.

    Of course Mr. Doggett only felt confident enough to voice his opinion safe from the folks who elected him. I hope the quote gets back to them.

  9. Jim says:

    The DNC is demonizing demonstrators, stating that they’re funded by lobbyists, the insurance companies, and others to incite them to oppose government takeover of healthcare. These “outsiders” are being “bused in” to demonstrations.

    Conspicuously absent from all of this is any shred of evidence to support the allegations.

    Which “K Street Lobbyists”? Which “insurance companies”?

    And where are the buses?

  10. Dan Maloney says:

    The DNC has started a campaign to demonize the Tea Party movement by referring to them, regardless whether they are Republicans or Democrat, as a “mob”

    This displays an arrogance and disconnect from reality that is astounding.

    This is going to come back and haunt them for years.

  11. phil says:

    It’s telling that representative Carol Shea-Porter who made a career of attending her predicessor’s Town Meetings has no personal Town Meetings scheduled this August. Hypocrite. Cap & Trade supporters and Govt Controlled Healthcare supporters are hiding from their constituents.

    And where’s Senator Shaheen’s personal appearances? Thought August was the big opportunity to get the pulse of the voters.

  12. Maureen Martin says:

    Oh, Ben! Obama does have a plan. It is called state coercion in the sickroom.
    And there will be no redress because you cannot sue the federal government.

  13. J says:

    I am truly impressed. Listening to talk radio (callers) and speaking to random individuals, here in MA, all are vast right wing conspiracists who have read some of obama’s plans and do not like them. They are a truly impressive lot and I want to meet the person who educated and organized them!

  14. John says:

    I want to throw a shoe at a town hall meeting. Will CNN lionize me if I do? Look, the government can’t even run a used car trade-in program. I don’t want them making life-or-death decisions for me. My insurance company is pretty easy to work with — the government requires 50 pages of documentation for cash-for-clunkers and they STILL won’t release any info.

    Obamacare is an unmitigated disaster.

  15. Ben says:

    Part of the problem is that Obama has no plan. He speaks in empty platitudes without specifics because every time he mentions specifics, people realize how bad it is. So he avoids specifics and lets Congress work something out. So to call it Obama’s plan is kind of disingenius, he has no plan except to “reform” along the lines liberal elites prefer, whether the rest of us like it or not.


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