Polling Indicates Strong Support For Obama's Healthcare Plan

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Yesterday, the White House released President Obama's health care proposal. Today, the Washington Post reviews the polling data on key elements of the proposal, finding that support ranges from 56% (for "require[ing] plans to cover adult dependents up to age 26") up to 80% (for "end[ing] discrimination against Americans with pre-existing conditions") and 81% (for setting up a "new insurance marketplace -- the Exchange -- that allows people without health insurance to compare plans and buy insurance at competitive rates"). All elements have strong majority support from the American people, directly contradicting Eric Cantor's assertions that the American people have "rejected" Democratic health care reform. That's simply not true (and to the extent there's any merit to what Cantor's saying, it's largely because of disinformation put about by his side of the aisle).

With regard to the argument that Democrats shouldn't pass health care reform via reconciliation, that's also not supported by the polls (for instance, see here). To the contrary, Democrats right now are getting all of the negatives from pushing health care reform, but none of the positives from actually passing it. Instead, Democrats are getting hit by another major negative, that they appear "weak" and incapable of getting anything done. Based on all the polling evidence I've seen, people couldn't give a rat's hindquarters about "reconciliation," "filibusters," or other arcane legislative jargon. What they care about is getting better, more accessible, more affordable, and more secure health care coverage for themselves and for their families. That's what the president's plan (largely) does, although of course I would have preferred it to be far more aggressive and go to either "single payer" or at least a robust "public option." Given the popularity of the public option, I'm baffled as to why the president's new plan doesn't contain one, but Democrats have been "too clever by half" on health care reform for nearly a year now, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised.