Fox News Poll: 54 Percent Prefer Congress Do Nothing on Health Care

Congress is working nights and weekends to pass legislation that Americans don't like, according to a Fox News poll released Thursday.

A majority — 57 percent — oppose the health care reform legislation being considered right now. About a third of Americans — 34 percent — favor the reforms.

The poll results show the highest level of opposition to the health care bill to date.

Click here to see the poll

Similarly, while 41 percent of Americans want Congress to pass major health care reform legislation this year, a 54 percent majority says they would rather Congress "do nothing on health care for now," up from 48 percent who felt that way in July.

Small wonder, when most people think the reforms will cost them money, and nearly twice as many think the quality of their health care will be worse rather than better.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64 percent) think the reforms will cost them money, up from 58 percent who thought so previously (July 2009). Fewer than one in four people — 23 percent — currently think the plan will save them money.

By 52 percent to 28 percent, Americans say the quality of health care their family receives would be worse under the proposed plan.

Among Democrats, 63 percent favor the health care reform legislation, while a large 87 percent majority of Republicans and two-thirds of independents (66 percent) oppose it.

The public is less approving of President Obama's job performance on health care than on most other issues (with the exception of the deficit). Thirty-nine percent approve of his handling of health care and 54 percent disapprove. While this current assessment is in line with polling conducted earlier this year, it does represent the most negative view up to now of the president's handling of health care.

Most Democrats (73 percent) approve of Obama's handling of health care, while most Republicans (86 percent) and a sizable majority of independents (63 percent) disapprove.

The House passed its version of health care reform in November. The Senate is currently debating the legislation. Opinion Dynamics Corp. conducted the national telephone poll of 900 registered voters for Fox News from December 8 to December 9. For the total sample, the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Americans put health care reform fairly low on the national to-do list. When asked about the most important issues for the government to be working on right now, fixing the economy (27 percent) and creating jobs (26 percent) are the two top items — far outdistancing all others.

The remaining issues — including health care — are bunched together with much less support: reforming health care (10 percent), handling Iraq and Afghanistan (8 percent), reducing the deficit (7 percent) and cutting taxes (6 percent). Addressing global warming comes at the bottom of the priority list at 2 percent.

Click here to view the raw data