Thursday, July 16, 2009

Health Care Reform: Not Imperative?

Well, you knew it was only a matter of time until the press started covering the court of public opinion - meaning polls. This story came out last night from the Houston Chronicle entitled, "Poll shows falling support for health care reform." It seems as if the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Zogby International - have found that public support for congress and health care reform seem to be declining.
The authors conducted an online poll that found 50 percent of respondents oppose a bill introduced by U.S. House Democratic leaders this week that would overhaul the system and pay for it by raising the taxes of the wealthiest Americans. Forty-two percent said they support the bill.
Now, I know what people say at this point - it's bad data - who was the polling sample of - blah, blah, blah. One poll says this and another poll says that - who do you believe? It doesn't matter who you believe. It matters who the people inside the beltway believe as they start to see these numbers come out.
The poll shows there is strong support for providing insurance for all Americans, but little for increasing taxes to pay for it. Increasing cigarette taxes was favored by 50 percent of respondents, the only tax option favored by at least half of respondents. Less than 20 percent favored increased co-pays and deductibles, rationing care, eliminating Medicare Advantage plans and decreasing home care reimbursement.
Does anyone really think that this will all be done by the August recess? As usual, the strategy is to push something through the House, something through the Senate, and the real bill be decided behind closed doors in conference committee. It worked with the so-called "stimulus" bill. But reading the quotes coming out of the Senate, a lot of people, on both sides of the isle are uneasy with this timeframe. Each day gets more interesting, and not in a good way.

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