KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Polls Show Slowly Shifting Opinion On Health Law

USA Today: "Fifty-five percent of Americans rate the nation's health care system as good or excellent, compared with 44% in February and 35% when President Obama first proposed his health care legislation, according to a poll released today by Rasmussen Reports." USA Today notes that even though many of the changes are not going to be implemented until 2014, many insurance companies are voluntarily changing some practices early (Fritze, 5/3).

CBS News: President Obama's approval ratings have risen a bit since the beginning of last month, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll, but "there has been little movement in perceptions of how Mr. Obama has handled health care or foreign policy. Despite a push to improve perceptions of the health care bill, just 44 percent approve of the president's handling of the issue. That's a modest increase from last month's 41 percent figure, but it falls short of the 48 percent who disapprove of the president's handling of health care" (Montopoli, 5/3).

The Sheboygan Press reported on a town hall meeting yesterday, where Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., said "without a doubt the dialogue at recent town hall meetings he's held has shifted dramatically from a year ago when tensions over the bill were running high. … Democrats are betting that the public's anxiety about the bill will improve before the fall election, where they're expected to face stiff challenges from Republicans seeking to capitalize on anti-incumbent voter sentiment driven in part by criticism of the health-care bill." The paper adds: "Monday's listening session drew opinions and applause for both sides of the health care debate - something that was not always seen last summer - though people speaking against it were still in the majority" (Lintereur, 5/4).

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