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Behind the Numbers
Posted at 08:45 AM ET, 02/10/2010

Health care reform: Wanted? Dead or alive?

Americans are evenly split on whether comprehensive health care reform has a chance of passing this year, according to the new Washington Post-ABC News poll, with supporters of the plan optimistic about its chances and opponents sure of its defeat.

Among those who say its time has passed, there's little consensus on who is responsible for its demise.

Overall, 48 percent in the poll say there's a chance the proposed changes could become law, 46 percent say the plan is dead. Among backers of comprehensive reform, 69 percent say the bill has a chance of becoming law, while nearly as many opponents say it won't happen this year (65 percent).

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Q. Regardless of your own preference, given what you've heard, do you think a comprehensive health care reform plan has a chance of becoming law this year, or do you think health care reform is dead?

About a third of those who say major reform won't pass say Republicans in Congress brought an end to the effort (34 percent), while three in 10 say it is because of congressional Democrats (28 percent), about two in 10 point the finger at President Obama (17 percent) and 3 percent volunteer Obama and the Democrats together. About one in eight say all three are to blame.

Those who support the plan but think it won't become law are far more apt to say Republicans are to blame for the bill's difficulties (64 percent) than Obama (6 percent) or the Democrats in Congress (14 percent) or both (4 percent). But opponents are more divided. Just over a third (35 percent) say Democrats stopped it, 23 percent say it was Obama (5 percent both) and 20 percent highlight the role Republicans played.

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Q. (If health reform "dead") Who do you think is mainly responsible for that?

Support proposed reform

Oppose proposed reform

The poll was conducted by telephone Feb. 4-8 among a random national sample of 1,004 adults including users of both conventional and cellular telephones. The results from the full survey have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points; it is larger for subgroups.

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  08:45 AM ET, 02/10/2010

Categories:  Health care, Health care

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