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A poll released today shows Americans’ belief in the current health-care system has risen dramatically in the last year, and support for a socialized solution to a health-care “crisis” has nearly evaporated.

The latest results from Rasmussen Reports show 49 percent of Americans now rate the quality of the U.S. health-care system as good or excellent, to only 27 percent that still argue it’s poor.

The favorable numbers reflect a 20-point jump from prior to the presidential election, when a June 2008 Rasmussen poll showed only 29 percent rated the health-care system so well and 37 percent rated it poor.

Furthermore, the more government reform of health care has been in the national spotlight, the more Americans have grown to appreciate a private health-care industry.

The 49 percent rating the U.S. system as good or excellent reflects a rise from 29 percent last year, to 35 percent in May and 44 percent at the beginning of October.

“Those opposed to Mr. Obama’s reform appear to have momentum on their side,” writes pollster Scott Rasmussen in a Wall Street Journal editorial. “It appears that the prospect of changing health care has made the existing system look better to a lot of people.”

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When examining proposals for government intervention, now only 38 percent favor the legislation currently working through Congress, and – in two separate poll-question responses – only 18 percent attribute health-care problems to the lack of universal coverage and only 13 percent favor allowing the federal government to scrap the current system and start over.

Despite the rise in support for the current system, Rasmussen reports 53 percent of Americans still hope for major changes, particularly with the current cost of care, a factor 62 percent cite as the biggest problem with status quo.

Americans, however, still believe in the medical professionals and facilities that provide their health care. Only 5 percent of the 1,000 likely voters surveyed argued the American system suffers most from poor quality of care.

Where Americans are losing faith, it appears, is in a workable solution to perceived problems coming from current proposals in Washington.

While just last month 61 percent of Americans favored passage of some form of federal health-care legislation this year, that number has now slipped to only half of the respondents.

As for the current legislation proposed, 56 percent of Rasmussen respondents oppose it, to only 38 percent in favor.

Furthermore, according to a Rasmussen poll from earlier this week, intensity of opinion remains strongest among those in opposition: Only 21 percent strongly favor Congress’ plan for health-care reform, while 43 percent are strongly opposed.

The support that still exists also finds itself increasingly confined to specific demographic groups.

While a majority of those under 30 favor the plan, a majority in all other age groups are opposed. Among senior citizens the disparity is 34 percent in favor to 60 percent opposed.

Proponents of federal health-care legislation have also lost support among moderates, as 70 percent of unaffiliated voters now stand in opposition. By comparison, 83 percent of Republicans also oppose the plan, while most of the support comes from the 73 percent of Democrats who favor it.


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