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Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Polling Shows Public Skeptical on Obamacare; Moderate Democrats Torn & Nervous

Another week, another bad poll for the health care reform proposals being pushed by President Obama and Democrats in Congress. Today, a new poll from NBC News and The Wall Street Journal shows more Americans disapprove of Obama’s handling of health care than approve and more think his plan is a bad a idea than think it is a good one. It’s little wonder, then, that nervous Democrats, torn between souring public opinion and the left wing of their party, are considering short-circuiting the legislative process through reconciliation, before it becomes impossible to pass their health bill. But even there Democrats face problems, again with their own party.

Today’s NBC/WSJ poll finds that after weeks of town halls, press conferences, speeches and dozens of interviews, Americans still don’t support the Democrats’ health care plans. Only 41% approve of the president’s handling of health care, while 47% disapprove, largely unchanged from last month. More Americans think “Barack Obama’s health care plan” is a “bad idea,” 42%, than think it’s a “good idea,” only 36%; this is unchanged since last month’s poll, but “bad idea” is up 16 points since April. A plurality, 47% opposed “creating a public health care plan administered by the federal government that would compete directly with private health insurance companies” while 43% supported the idea; in last month’s poll, a plurality favored the government plan by 46%-44%.

The poll also finds majorities with significant concerns -- 54% percent are concerned about government “going too far and making the health care system worse than it is now in terms of quality of care and choice of doctor.” Asked about possible outcomes of the bill, a majority said it was likely to give coverage to illegal immigrants (55%), lead to a government takeover of health care (54%), and fund abortions (50%). Apparently, Americans don’t have a lot of trust that Democrats will keep any of these items out of a health care bill.

Given the public’s continuing disapproval and skepticism of the Democrats’ health care plans, Democrats elected in more moderate or conservative districts and helped put Democrats into the majority are now torn between listening to their constituents, who don’t support President Obama’s health care plans, and Democrat congressional leaders and liberal activists who helped elect them, who are demanding a government-run insurance company.

With so many Democrats in such a tough position, it appears that party leaders and some in the White House would prefer to just push a bill through on Democrat votes alone, according to The New York Times. “Administration officials, who maintain that Republicans are badly mischaracterizing the legislation that has emerged from three House committees and the Senate health committee, said they had hoped to achieve some level of bipartisan support. But they are becoming increasingly convinced that they will instead have to navigate the complicated politics among varying Democratic factions.”

To be successful, Democrats would need to get every one of their 60 senators to vote for the bill, which might not be easy. A word that has resurfaced is the idea of “reconciliation” a deceptive word for a process that allows legislation to be passed with a simple majority vote verses the required 60 votes. But a number of key Democrats are on record opposing such a maneuver, including Senate president pro tempore Robert Byrd and Budget Committee chairman Kent Conrad. Rahm Emanuel (not-elected) and other Democrats can complain about Republican opposition to their poorly conceived health care plans all they want, but it’s clear that President Obama’s real obstacles come from the American people and members of his own party.

Tags: decline in support, Democrats, Obamacare, polling, polls, Senate To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 12:15 PM - Post Link

1 Comments:

Blogger Matt said...

Well, the left doesn't care about the people, only power, so this does not come as a surprise. If they do it though, they lose HUGE in 2010.

8/19/2009  

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