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Poll Shows Voter Opposition to Health Care Plan

A new poll released Tuesday shows American voters “mostly disapprove— of the health care reform plan that the Senate is prepared to vote on, by a margin of 53 percent to 36 percent. Fifty-six percent of voters disapprove of President Barack Obama’s handling of the health care issue, compared with 38 percent who approve, according to a Quinnipiac University poll conducted Dec. 15-20.Part of the opposition to the health care plan currently before the Senate stems from voters’ support for a public insurance option.In the same poll, voters opposed by a margin of 72 percent to 23 percent using any public money in the health care overhaul to pay for abortions. And the poll also found that voters are dissatisfied with Obama’s handling of the economy, though they support his plan to use $200 billion left over from the bank bailout for a new stimulus package to create jobs rather than to reduce the budget deficit.The nationwide poll of 1,616 voters had a 2.4-point margin of error. It was taken while Senate Democratic leaders were scrambling to cobble together a health care bill that was acceptable to all 60 members of the caucus.Looking at the health care plan, independent voters “mostly disapprove,— 58 percent to 30 percent, as do Republicans, 83 percent to 10 percent. Democrats “mostly approve— of the plan, 64 percent to 22 percent. “As President Barack Obama’s numbers on health care have declined, so has his margin over Republicans on whom American voters trust most on the issue,— said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “In July, he enjoyed a 20-point edge on the trust question, and that margin has been narrowing, to 45 to 40 percent today.—While voters opposed the health care plan, they back two options cut from the Senate bill, supporting by 56 percent to 38 percent giving people the option of coverage by a government health insurance plan and backing 64 percent to 30 percent allowing younger people to buy into Medicare.

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