By: Dan Weil
Almost two-thirds of Americans believe the new healthcare law is too expensive and gives too much authority to the government for healthcare, according to a USA Today/Gallup Poll.
That could be bad news for Democrats in November’s congressional elections.
Supporters "are not only going to have to focus on implementing this kind of major reform," Robert Blendon, a Harvard professor of health policy and political analysis, told the paper.
"They're going to have to spend substantial time convincing people of the concrete benefits of this legislation."
Poll respondents are worried that the reform package will cost them more while lessening their quality of care.
Even President Obama has acknowledged problems on the cost front. "We are still going to have adjustments that have to be made to further reduce costs," he said Tuesday on NBC’s Today,
To some extent, poll respondents have contradictory views of the new legislation. A plurality believes the law will generally improve healthcare coverage and the overall health of Americans.
But 65 percent say the government’s role in healthcare is being expanded too far, 64 percent say the program will cost the government too much, 58 percent say it doesn’t do enough to brake rising costs and 51 percent say it doesn’t do enough to regulate the healthcare industry.
Half of respondents in the March 26-28 poll say the law is “a bad thing,” while 47 percent view it as “a good thing.”
That’s a shift from a poll March 22 — one day after the House approved the legislation — in which supporters outnumbered opponents 49 to 40 percent.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted March 23-26 produced mixed results for Democrats.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s approval rating dropped to 29 percent from 35 percent in January.
But approval of Obama’s handling of healthcare reform rose to 48 percent from 43 percent.
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