WASHINGTON – Americans remain skeptical about the health-care overhaul even after the House passed landmark legislation that promises to provide medical coverage for tens of millions of the uninsured.

At the same time, most say the government should play a role in ensuring everyone has access to affordable care, a Bloomberg National Poll shows. A majority also agree that health care is a private matter and consider the new rules approved by Congress to be a government takeover.

The poll found the percentage of Americans who favor the almost $1 trillion 10-year plan remained at about just four in 10 following the House vote on March 21 to send the bill to President Barack Obama to sign into law.

“Anything called a ‘massive overhaul’ will be complicated, and it is hard for people to see what is in it for them,” said J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co., a Des Moines, Iowa- based firm that conducted the nationwide survey. The poll of 1,002 adults was conducted March 19-22 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent. There was no meaningful movement of opinion the final night of interviewing, after the vote was taken.

Democratic lawmakers who approved the revamp over the unanimous objections of the GOP are counting on public support to grow once voters see the benefits of the legislation, which places new restrictions on insurers from denying coverage to people. Republicans vow to make health care an issue in November’s congressional elections.

Of those surveyed, about half say the cost of doing nothing on health care will be greater than the price tag for the legislative overhaul. One thing the vast majority of Americans agree on: Health care is complicated. Three-fourths of respondents say the issue is so complex that it’s hard for the average American to understand the proposals.

Obama, rallying House Democrats before the vote, told lawmakers he’s “confident” the legislation “will end up being the smart thing to do politically because I believe that good policy is good politics.”

Sherry Stearns of Owego, N.Y., remains opposed to the legislation, saying it doesn’t do enough to lower costs or help the uninsured.

“There are a lot of people who are out there suffering, and I see it on a daily basis,” says the 44-year-old nurse. More needs to be done to get drugmakers to lower the costs of medicines and for medical centers to reduce the cost of their services, she says.

Of those surveyed, about half say the cost of doing nothing on health care will be greater than the price tag for the legislative overhaul.

While more than six of 10 respondents agree the government should play a role in ensuring Americans have health care, 53 percent say the plan amounts to a government-run system. Yet six of 10 also say individuals should be responsible for making sure their health-care needs are met.

One thing the vast majority of Americans agree on: Health care is complicated. Three-fourths of respondents say the issue is so complex that it’s hard for the average American to understand the proposals.

 

 

 

 

“It is difficult to understand, but the part that I do understand is what’s best for me,” says Holley.

 

 

Mary Holley, 59, of Edenton, N.C., says she’s worked all her life mostly in a factory and is now unemployed and can’t afford insurance.

“Someone has to care about the little people,” says Holley, who supports the overhaul.