News Interest Index: More Now Think Health Reform Bill Will Pass

  • December 22, 2009

Americans continued to follow the health care debate more closely than any other news story last week, and the public sees the odds of a reform bill ultimately being passed increasing. In the latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted Dec. 18-21 among 1,018 adults nationwide, 61% say they think a health reform bill will pass over the next year, while 34% think it will not. That is the most positive assessment in two months of tracking the public's outlook.

And the events of the weekend did not go unnoticed. As news that Democrats had finally built the 60 vote supermajority needed to pass the legislation through the Senate, the share saying a reform bill would pass rose from 56% in interviews conducted Friday and Saturday to 64% in interviews conducted Sunday and Monday.

Overall, 37% of Americans cite the health care reform debate as the single news story they followed most closely this past week, while 18% cite news about the economy. These figures are largely unchanged from the previous week. Continuing reports about Tiger Woods remains a major story for some Americans. Roughly one-in-seven Americans (14%) say they followed news about Tiger Woods more closely than any other story. The international forum on climate change in Copenhagen attracted less focus – just 5% say that was their top news story this past week.

Read the full report More Now Think Health Reform Bill Will Pass on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.