Reason-Rupe December 2013 National Survey


December 2013 Poll Results Overview

Americans Want to Go Back to Previous Health Care System, Disagree With President Obama on Size and Power of Government

Americans say Obama administration is not transparent, they've lost confidence in government and Congress doesn't understand health care

At a recent event, President Barack Obama said the health care law is here to stay and vowed, "We aren't going back." But 55 percent of Americans say they'd prefer to go back to the health care system that was in place before the Affordable Care Act, while 34 percent prefer the current health care system. 

The latest Reason-Rupe national telephone poll finds the Affordable Care Act's troubled launch has made 47 percent of Americans less confident in government's ability to solve problems. Forty-one percent say the troubles have made no difference and 11 percent say the health care law's launch has given them more confidence in the government.

"This is the most transparent administration in history," President Obama has declared. However, 57 percent of Americans tell Reason-Rupe that the Obama administration is not the most transparent administration in history, while 37 percent agree with the president's statement. 

A majority of Americans, 52 percent, say they disagree with President Obama's views about the proper size and power of government, while 38 percent agree with the president.

Fifty-four percent of those surveyed feel government is generally a "burdensome part of society that impedes the ability of people to improve their lives," while 41 percent feel "government is primarily a source of good and helps people improve their lives."

Nearly three out of four Americans, 73 percent, believe members of Congress do not understand health care or how health care laws impact Americans. Just 25 percent think members of Congress understand the consequences of the health care laws they pass.

Seventy percent of Americans oppose making young people pay more for health care to help fund health care for older or less healthy Americans. Six in 10 oppose requiring younger, healthier people to help fund insurance for those with pre-existing conditions. And 57 percent believe lower cost health care plans that provide fewer benefits than required by the Affordable Care Act should be allowed.  

Of the 44 percent of respondents who say that they liked the Affordable Care Act when it passed, 41 percent of them like it less now.   Of the 52 percent who disliked the law when it was passed, 14 percent like it more now.

When it comes to health care overall, 57 percent of Americans disapprove of the job President Obama is doing, while 38 percent approve. Overall, however, 47 percent say they approve of the job President Obama is doing — four points better than the September Reason-Rupe poll. One in five Americans, 20 percent, approve of the job Congress is doing, down slightly from September.

Poll Results

Poll results are available here and additional Reason-Rupe poll resources are available here. This is the latest in a series of Reason-Rupe public opinion surveys dedicated to exploring what Americans really think about government and major issues.  This Reason Foundation project is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation.

The Reason-Rupe poll conducted live interviews with 1,011 adults on mobile (506) and landline (505) phones from December 4-8, 2013. The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 3.7 percent. Princeton Survey Research Associates International executed the nationwide Reason-Rupe survey.

Reason-Rupe December 2013 Poll