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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Oh, Yeah, Now I See It…

Now I see how some folks could believe that those town hall disruptions and the public’s antipathy toward the Democrat’s health care plan is planted solely in right wing loonies, paid big pharma flacks, and Republican party apparatchiks. The public support is, otherwise, overwhelming.

Or, wait, not it’s not.

New Rasmussen Reports polling shows public support for the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats has fallen to a new low. Data released yesterday shows that 51% fear the federal government more than private insurance companies. Thirty-two percent (32%) favor a single-payer health care system for the U.S. while 57% are opposed.

Because, no, Americans still aren’t fans of the idea of single payer systems and are highly skeptical of anything that might bring us there. Bullying techniques (and, yes, the push to pass something on some ridiculous timeline in a similar style as the cap-and-trade push absolutely is bullying) looked remarkably desperate. That the left had to abandon their efforts in the face of public push-back and party defections was, without a doubt, a big loss for the Democrats. Ridiculing protestors, calling them Nazis, and telling them that their opinions are manufactured and bought by insurance companies and the GOP hasn’t proven to be a good strategy for winning hearts and minds, either.

With a massive public debt, increasing unemployment, unprecedented Federal government spending, and a population increasingly worried about their own futures and the future of the country, now doesn’t seem to be a good time to be piling on a giant new public initiative. Some--like Paul Krugman--would disagree, but the town hall protests seem to show that a good portion of the public shares my concern. Democrats are betting that they bull through some kind of a package, and some are betting their futures on their constituents finally lining up behind whatever reform package that they pass.

That seems unlikely.

The Democrats are losing the mid-term elections right now. For that matter, Obama may well be losing his next election right now, too.

Speed Update:

This can’t help, either.

President Obama today suggested that the health care reform legislation for which he’s pushing has been endorsed by the American Association of Retired Person.

“We have the AARP on board because they know this is a good deal for our seniors,” the president said.

At another point he said: “Well, first of all, another myth that we’ve been hearing about is this notion that somehow we’re going to be cutting your Medicare benefits.  We are not.  AARP would not be endorsing a bill if it was undermining Medicare, okay?”

The problem?

The AARP hasn’t endorsed any plan yet.

Unforced error.

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The Democrats’ problem is that they’re seeing results for poll questions that ask, simply, “Do you support universal health care?” and failing to take into account that, to those polled, that phrase doesn’t necessarily mean what they’re taking it to mean. I think most non-policy-wonks read “universal health care” and think, “everybody gets the health care they need.” It’s like asking people if they want to end hunger or bring about world peace—a declaration of sentiment, not a policy choice.

If you told people who want to abolish hunger that the program to achieve that end would necessarily mean rationing a finite food supply on a worldwide scale and actually letting people starve to death, the program would be a whole lot less popular.

on Aug 12 2009 @ 07:37 AM

That sounds about right to me.

on Aug 12 2009 @ 12:07 PM

It might help if the protesters at the Town Hall meetings protested the health care plan.

on Aug 12 2009 @ 02:47 PM

Of course everyone wants top-notch healthcare, but the devil is in the details.  If money were no object, I’d like to take the same health plan that members of Congress have.  Sadly, reality intrudes, and we have to settle for something the citizens can afford.  Congress could take a step in the right direction by imposing nationwide caps on litigation awards [deathly silence].

on Aug 12 2009 @ 03:13 PM
jed

Well, I’ve watched a few vids of Townhall protests, and seen plenty of people voicing or signing opposition to the health-care bill. In fact, I’ve seen very little in the way of topic hijack. Not saying that never happens, but people really are protesting the health plan.

I kinda wonder how badly Obama will have to step on his dick for the Dem leadership to pull him aside and recommend he stay out of the limelight.

Oh, I forgot, he’s immune to being embarrased, or something. But nobody is resurrecting the eptithet “teflon president” for him ... yet. I suppose that’d be racist.

on Aug 12 2009 @ 05:33 PM

I think the President promised too much to the people, and now he is struggling to fulfill those promises. Instead of debunking rumors about the Healthcare plan, why doesn’t he address other important issues such as the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and the closing down of Guantanamo bay?

on Aug 13 2009 @ 02:36 AM
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