Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Public Be Damned

Here’s an excerpt from a recent poll conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:

"Asked how the health care overhaul would affect their own access to medical care, 57 percent said it would stay the same. Similarly, 61 percent said their personal financial situation would stay about the same."

"Among those who do expect a change, 28 percent said they thought their access to care would get worse, while 15 percent said they thought it would improve. On finances, 27 percent said they thought the health care bill would make them worse off financially, while 12 percent expected an improvement."

Somebody check my arithmetic - I think this says that 68% expect no effect or a negative effect on their own access to care and 72% expect no effect or a negative effect on their personal finances. What kind of “overhaul” is that?

I think these results suggest it’s unlikely that there is in fact some widespread groundswell of public support for the House or Senate health care bills. People just don’t get enthusiastic over nothing or less than nothing. Yet the President, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and their minions all claim they have overwhelming public support. What voices are they listening to?

I think it’s clear they are NOT listening to the public's voice.

They got an earful during the August recess - and ignored it.

And since August, polls show public support for the proposed health care overhaul has eroded, week by week. A few days ago, Rasmussen found that 56% of the public now opposes the plans in the House and Senate, and only 38% approve.

Americans still support reform of the health care system, but we aren’t buying the present House and Senate overhaul proposals. I think that’s because the true cost of the plans can’t be papered over any more. As the truth emerges about the staggering cost, more and more people realize that these proposals will significantly expand government spending, grow the deficit, and become a tax burden for us and our children and our children’s children. So the longer this “debate” goes on, the less public support there is for the overhaul proposals in the House and Senate. Rasmussen says

"63% of voters agreed with the president earlier this year when he said, “We must make it a priority to give every single American quality affordable health care.” Yet while they agree in theory, only 28% are currently willing to pay higher taxes to achieve that goal."

And are the House and Senate listening? No. Their leadership remains stubbornly intent on ramming a final bill through Congress despite the rapidly eroding public support. And, despite the very serious flaws in the current House and Senate Bills, despite the flaky and frankly bogus financial promises that these bills will not increase the deficit or taxes, and despite the serious economic troubles the nation faces.

So here’s how I see it: we have a runaway Congress. The House and Senate leadership long ago decided what it intends to do, and is now doing it. The public be damned.
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