The rest are split between "no" and "not sure"
A new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll finds that reducing unemployment and creating new jobs are clearly considered the top immediate priorities for President Obama and Congress, but healthcare reform is still important.
Half of U.S. adults say it will be a "bad thing" if there is no major reform of the healthcare system in the next two years.
These are some of the results a Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll of 2,075 adults surveyed online February 3-5, 2010 by Harris Interactive.
This survey was conducted on the heels of Scott Brown's election into the Massachusetts Senate –which some say sent a loud message against the current healthcare reform efforts, followed by the President's State of the Union address, where he reiterated the importance of this initiative.
Although a substantial 50% to 27% plurality want to see health reform in the next two years, the public is split on whether the reform proposed by the President and the Democrats should be passed.
The Republicans in Congress and the healthcare industry are seen as mainly to blame for failure to pass a healthcare reform bill now – not President Obama.
Obviously, this is less true for Republicans, who blame the Democrats in Congress. There are very large differences between Republicans and Democrats on all these issues, with Democrats much more strongly in favor of pushing hard for major reforms.
"The public is clearly split, with Republicans on one side and Democrats on the other, as to how hard the president should push for health care reform," said Humphrey Taylor, chairman of The Harris Poll.
"The president's stated intention to push ahead is likely to be popular with most Democrats, but will probably remain so only if he and Congress can deliver significant legislation. Failure to do so could be very damaging."
Overall, and specifically for Independents, controlling the out-of-pocket costs of healthcare and health insurance is now seen as the most important aspect of healthcare reform.
Results vary for Democrats and Republicans individually:
For Democrats, the most important is to ensure more people have health insurance.
For Republicans, the most important is not increasing taxes to pay for health reform.
Independents have become the swing votes in America, and how they feel could be an important indicator of where things will go.
"But, if the debate drags on without a clear outcome," said Taylor, "the more 'health reform fatigue' will increase, which is likely to help Republican candidates in the November elections."
This survey was conducted online within the United States February 3 to 5, 2010 among 2,075 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.
Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments.
Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates.
These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population.
Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
Full data available here: http://news.harrisinteractive.com/profiles/investor/fullpage.asp?f=1&BzID=1963&to=cp&Nav=0&LangID=1&s=0&ID=11083
The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.
These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
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11th February - 2010