Expansion Of Public Insurance STILL The Most Popular Health Insurance Proposal

No one can accuse the Obama Administration of "governing by poll" at least:

As the Senate prepares to vote on health care reform, American voters "mostly disapprove" of the plan 53 - 36 percent and disapprove 56 - 38 percent of President Barack Obama's handling of the health care issue, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. [. . .]

While voters oppose the health care plan, they back two options cut from the Senate bill, supporting 56 - 38 percent giving people the option of coverage by a government health insurance plan and backing 64 - 30 percent allowing younger people to buy into Medicare.

Certainly the politics of health care does not look promising for Democrats, but time will tell.

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    Wondering if all the griping about (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:57:21 AM EST
    Obama accomplishes anything.

    Griping about Bush didn't... (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 11:34:17 AM EST
    and griping about the next piker we hire won't either.

    If we want to accomplish something we need pitchforks, not keyboards.


    Actually kdog (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by cal1942 on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 12:02:29 PM EST
    that's the right approach.

    Movement politics is the only thing that has a prayer of turning this thing around and it'll take a hell of a movement.  Petitions, etc. won't do it.  It's going to take boots on the ground, well backed primary challengers, media and dumping sacred cows.


    I agree... (none / 0) (#37)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 12:41:55 PM EST
    we may disagree about where we want the country to go, but there is only one way to get there...hit the streets and hit 'em hard.  Make the government fear us for a change, instead of us fearing the government.

    Unfortunately, it's gotta get a lot worse before enough us get moving I'm afraid...but we inch closer everyday.


    I'll bring (none / 0) (#73)
    by cal1942 on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 02:49:51 AM EST
    a pitchfork and a torch if you bring a pitchfork and a torch.

    I'm not joshin', I own a pitchfork.


    I'm in... (none / 0) (#74)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 08:17:55 AM EST
    pretty sure I got a pitchfork in the garage too.

    2 down, 998,000 minimum to go.


    Err... (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 08:18:37 AM EST
    999,998 to go...need coffee to remember basic math:)

    The debate needs to change if these policies (5.00 / 4) (#33)
    by esmense on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 12:06:30 PM EST
    are to be improved upon in the future. Polls like this, and the criticisms implied in them, can help change and broaden the on-going debate.  They are needed.

    Right now, the meme being pushed by the administration and supported by the media is that objections to taking things like the public option or Medicare buy ins off the table "only" come from "the left" (or "the angry left").

    But, as these polls show, the American people -- left, center and right, moderate, progressive and conservative -- aren't and won't be judging reform as ideologues, they are and will be judging it as consumers. To be successful, politically and pragmatically, reform must meet their most important needs and objectives as consumers.

    If the administration, and health care commentators in general, continue to dismiss and frame these concerns and objections as coming "only" from the ideological fringe, right or left, rather than as based in pragmatic, real world experience and concerns, there's no hope for better reforms down the road. Because real world pragmatism is already lost and the best arguments already conceded.  

    If we hope for improvement down the line, it is very important that the deceptive and dismissive "angry left" framing not prevail. As a resident of a blue state that made major insurance reforms in the 1990s, only to see those reforms minimized and lost to push back by the insurance industry over the following decade, I know that the likelihood of things being improved, rather than made worse, is slim. These interests will be pouring millions, if not billions, more dollars into making sure that their interests prevail over those of the consumer. In no way can we expect them to fold up their tents and go home.

    Why continue to do their work for them by dismissing pragmatic consumer concerns as merely ideological? And disrespecting those who voice those concerns?

    If you think that doing so can support Obama's political interests, you are wrong. If reform doesn't ultimately meet the needs of the health care consumer, they won't serve Obama's political interest either.



    I know what not griping about (5.00 / 4) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 12:54:23 PM EST
    him will get me.

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 01:19:02 PM EST
    It's either gripe or hit the bottle.  (Sometimes both...)

    I started crying again last night (none / 0) (#56)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 01:30:08 PM EST
    Then I woke up all clear eyed and refreshed really early this morning, like 5:00 am.  When that happens, someone's in trouble and it isn't me :)

    Second the motion. (none / 0) (#24)
    by prittfumes on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 11:10:54 AM EST
    The people who now look ... (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 03:46:30 PM EST
    like the biggest idiots are those who said you can't support more progressive HCR because the public isn't ready for it.

    And that includes the vast majority of the so-called progressive blogosphere.

    Really (none / 0) (#71)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:19:21 PM EST
    I think its those who thought that the American People would support Health Care  reform rather than collapsing as they did in 1948, 1986, 1994 and now 2009.

    Mark Mellman (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:09:45 AM EST
    finds somewhat different results.

    I think this is why the President wants a bill before the SOTU.

    Not following (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:14:03 AM EST
    What would it matter if it was before or after the SOTU?

    I actually could make a pretty good argument for having it pass a month or so after.

    I suppose however, that in the tradition of SOTUs and their aftermath, Obama will be barnstorming for some new initiatives - probably about jobs.

    I think that is the rush - to turn the page and call the health bill a victory.


    Why must it be in the SOTU? Because (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by Cream City on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 11:30:34 AM EST
    now he has to report on a full year as president, and styrofoam pillars will not be sufficient to prop up this speech!

    He has to have something to account for his year, after all, to compensate for the economic mess.  He can bet that there will be plenty of GOPers out there measuring the benchmarks of jobs lost a year ago and now, homes lost a year ago and now, etc.  


    so he's gonna go with touting a program (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by cawaltz on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 11:40:17 AM EST
    that at best has a 38% approval rating by the country? His best bet is to point to economic glimmers such as GDP growth and pray that seasonal jobs keep unemployment at least at what is presently.

    If he does try to sell this I suggest that he use BTD's strategy and call it a step and refrain from calling it an A- attempt. I'm not sure there are enough delusional people left to call this measure good, let alone great.


    Disagree Somewhat (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 11:51:55 AM EST
    I do think he will say that this is a historic moment and might even point out that he has accomplished what others before him have failed to do. He will also IMO then qualify his remarks somewhat by saying while historic it does not give everyone all that they wanted and there will still be work to do.

    Talking heads (none / 0) (#34)
    by waldenpond on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 12:22:22 PM EST
    will sell health care for Obama.  They never did like the PO.  I won't watch the speech as I expect Obama to sell this bill as bending the cost curve (9.99% growth instead of 10% anyone?) and I would be frustrated.

    Um, by almost every availible metric (none / 0) (#72)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:21:25 PM EST
    the economy is no longer just slowing its descent but rather is in the nascent stages of a revival.

    I think what it is (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:16:07 AM EST
    is that the President wants to write the history of the bill and get a final word on what it means.

    Of course, he will have to move on to other things too.


    The SOTU as the final word? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:18:39 AM EST
    for a bill that does little until 2014?

    Pfft That's delusional.


    At the very least, final word on (none / 0) (#5)
    by andgarden on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:21:08 AM EST
    the current debate.

    so much for (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:22:24 AM EST
    "fixing the bill" ay?

    heh, you know I never believed that (none / 0) (#9)
    by andgarden on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:24:58 AM EST
    Sure (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:27:13 AM EST
    But as political strategy, it is not smart.

    Honestly, I recommend the President take the Harkin approach on this and argue it is an important first step.

    Hell, if I were him, I would be making a new proposal in the SOTU on health care. Not some controversial piece - do kabuki with drug reimportation that is going nowhere anyway.

    Just to show you know there is much more work to do.


    Heheh (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by lilburro on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:30:43 AM EST
    do you think he will?

    This is the guy who is planning to give himself an "A-" when this bill passes after all.


    Sounds good to me (none / 0) (#15)
    by andgarden on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:30:52 AM EST
    My first thought a few days ago was also that he (none / 0) (#23)
    by steviez314 on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 11:03:37 AM EST
    should make some new health care proposal in the SOTU, but I'm rethinking that.  

    Everyone needs a little break from HCR.  And besides, he needs to focus on jobs jobs jobs ASAP.

    But, depending on the '10 elections, I see no reason he couldn't have in the 2011 SOTU a call to lower the Medicare age (and do that only, so as to get it in the budget process).


    Actually (none / 0) (#66)
    by s5 on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 03:23:35 PM EST
    I've already read elsewhere that the White House is going to tackle drug reimportation next. Not in this bill, obviously.

    I'll try and dig up the link.


    The final word for now (none / 0) (#6)
    by Steve M on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:22:10 AM EST
    because, despite all the predictions that the Republicans will sweep to victory in the next election by saying nothing more than "we will repeal the bill," people are very much ready to talk about something else right now.  Specifically, jobs and the economy, of course.

    I feel pretty confident that the health care bill will not be at the forefront of the public consciousness two months from now.


    I feel confident it has NEVER (5.00 / 6) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:24:34 AM EST
    been at the forefront of consciousness, but that really really really misunderstands off year elections, which are base election.

    It is and will be a major issue for BOTH BASES, one is energized by opposing it, one is deflated by it.

    From a purely political standpoint, Obama did the Party great damage for 2010 by making it a priority. And the policy result was not worth the price imo.


    I'm not sure HE made it a priority (5.00 / 6) (#16)
    by Dadler on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:31:15 AM EST
    As much as he simply said it was, then left it to others to decide whether it was a real priority worthy of real attention, and just what kind of toilet paper the bill should be printed on.

    If it were a genuine priority of his, he would have acted as a leader on the issue, and he did nothing of the sort. I can only conclude he was interested in window dressing.

    Obama was a passionate campaigner, and he hasn't come close to that passion since.  He has been a dispassionate president, spouting useless sh*t like "you don't always get what you want" and "tighten your belts," etc., which are akin to telling people you think they are just children who need to be potty-trained.

    His passion was for getting the job, not doing the job.


    There are two kinds of people (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by oldpro on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 12:54:34 PM EST
    in politics, as in life...the showhorses and the workhorses...those who want to 'be somebody' and those who want to do something.

    Sometimes one kind can become the other kind...but not usually.


    ...and we know who the workhorse was (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by mogal on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 03:33:15 PM EST
    I think the D base will come to like it (none / 0) (#10)
    by andgarden on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:26:20 AM EST
    Not as much as what they would have wanted, but still. After the angry denunciations, the premium assistance and expansion of Medicaid is just too important to be resentful.

    I think you are wrong (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:28:42 AM EST
    In off year elections especially, coming out to vote AGAINST something is the most powerful driver.

    Coming out to vote against insurance companies has long been an easy sell for Dems. No longer.


    That's fair enough (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:30:36 AM EST
    Dems were always going to have a tough slog in 2010.

    I'll tell you what's helpful though: having Parker Griffith highlight the Dixiecrat nature of the GOP.


    Well (none / 0) (#17)
    by Steve M on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:38:20 AM EST
    that's why the first midterm is always difficult for the party in power, sure.  But the alternative is to get elected and then refrain from pursuing your agenda, which kind of belies the point.

    Which agenda? (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:40:31 AM EST
    My point was the achievement was not a good tradeoff for the cost.

    Suppose instead Obama concentrated on the economy and a better stimulus and continued action on that front?

    Suppose Obama had acted the populist and fought on financial reform?


    I am sure the Dem base (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Steve M on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:45:05 AM EST
    wouldn't have minded that we just kicked the can down the road on health care.

    I remember early in the primary when Hillary implied she might not get around to health care until her second term.  The Dem base was all like "oh, that's fine with us, not really a priority."


    since when has Obama been concerned with the Dem (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by cawaltz on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:49:46 AM EST
    base? I don't think I've ever heard him utter a nice thing about them. From where I'm sitting his strategy appears to be win over the opposition.

    You're snarking (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:51:56 AM EST
    But I think that happens to be true if instead of concentrating on health care, the concentration was on a populist beatdown of bankers.

    Look, Dems won big in the 1934 election. Let's not pretend losing the 2010 election was inevitable.


    Oh it wasn't in inevitable (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by cawaltz on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 11:36:03 AM EST
    it moves closer to that direction though every day. Obama does not seem to get that no matter how much he panders to the right and its base, THEY AREN'T GONNA LIKE HIM. At the end of the day they will punch their ticket joyously for his opposition(calling him a "socialist" as they do so). Meanwhile the people who would have loyally voted for him are getting more and more disillusioned and less and less inclined to show up for him.

    I also think ol' Rahm underestimated the number of the base that will be thoroughly disgusted by 2012, let alone 2010.


    Obama abandoning bi-partisanship? No more (none / 0) (#35)
    by DFLer on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 12:23:51 PM EST
    cocktail parties, apparently.

    In a McClatchy news article titled Once the 'change' candidate, Obama now a changed man based mainly on comments by a George Edwards, a scholar of the presidency at Texas A&M University.

    Obama also thought he'd be the one to do something that predecessors such as Bill Clinton and George W. Bush tried and failed to do: reach out to the other major political party.

    He invited Republicans to the White House for cocktails. Then to watch the Super Bowl. Then he went to Capitol Hill to visit with them.

    It didn't work. Republicans almost unanimously have opposed his major initiatives, from that first stimulus spending through the current health care proposal. He still says he wants to work with them, but the fact is that health care now relies almost entirely on Democratic votes. The bipartisan cocktail parties also have disappeared from the schedule.

    "It's a quite important change in his approach to governing," Edwards said. "When they came in, they had certain notions about bipartisanship. ...They had to abandon it."

    Ah, the benefits of experience (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by Cream City on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 12:42:01 PM EST
    underrated as such benefits were.

    When Obama quits having one on one (5.00 / 5) (#41)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 12:47:31 PM EST
    meetings with Snowe and quits including Republican bad proposals into the legislation, I will believe that he has abandoned his bipartisan approach.

    It's in his DNA (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 02:19:52 PM EST
    It's going to make Chris Matthews' leg tingle any day now.

    'certain notions about bipartisanship' (none / 0) (#69)
    by RonK Seattle on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 05:53:15 PM EST
    And all those notions have gone to notion heaven.

    Did they have any other notions in the old notion-bag?

    Yes, if post-conflict notion of international affairs counts as a separate notion.

    Otherwise, no.


    Short memories (none / 0) (#40)
    by waldenpond on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 12:47:20 PM EST
    The Congressional Dems always cave and the base will show up in 2012.  They can take a lot of abuse.  After Bush, they will not want another Repub as President.

    The Dem base (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 12:52:52 PM EST
    isn't a majority of voters....

    Republican primary (none / 0) (#48)
    by waldenpond on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 12:54:42 PM EST
    I the center would show up to vote against a Sarah Palin.

    only if (none / 0) (#49)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 12:56:29 PM EST
    the primaries are open

    which also means (none / 0) (#50)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 12:57:00 PM EST
    those same people couldn't vote in the Dem primary - whether in 2012 or 2016

    They didn't show up in '94 (none / 0) (#65)
    by esmense on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 02:42:23 PM EST
    disappointment over the failure of health care reform was certainly a contributing factor

    Some of the base left last year after (none / 0) (#70)
    by cawaltz on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 06:54:13 PM EST
    the primaries. Many of us thought that the party was inching right and this was a mistake. Some thought it was "strategy". Now that they realize it may have been strategy but it is a somewhat permanent strategy I expect to see more and more of the base doing what some of us did after the primaries- going independant.

    The number of indies are increasing from both sides of the aisle as more and more people recognize that both sides are playing the electorate for suckers.


    The best we can get at this time (none / 0) (#26)
    by Madison Guy on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 11:32:35 AM EST
    It's a bill that only a lobbyist could love. What will happen if some version of the Senate's healthcare reform bill doesn't pass now? For starters, ask yourself what if LBJ had bailed on Medicare in 1965 because the special interests made it impossible to cover the whole population?

    Looks like the politicas are already in place (none / 0) (#31)
    by Slado on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 11:54:52 AM EST
    (d) from Alabama switches to republican before the house takes up the bill again.

    Looks like the Blue dogs are getting nervous and we know the liberal/progressives in the house hate the bill as well.

    Should be an interesting January.

    Dems made a poor investment. (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 12:44:37 PM EST
    I'm glad that I quite donating to the Democratic organizations like the DCCC.

    o Turns out that the over $1,000,000 the DCCC spent on Griffith was well spent.  They just helped elected a Republican.  

    o Griffith had actually voted with Republicans 84.85% of the time on crucial votes already, anyway, according to Progressive Punch. link

    Alabama? Good riddance (none / 0) (#36)
    by andgarden on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 12:24:14 PM EST
    BTW, do you know how he won his seat (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by andgarden on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 12:50:13 PM EST
    as a Democrat? He promised to keep funding the big government program that N. Alabama has lived off of for more than 50 years: the TVA.



    Hey damn it (none / 0) (#57)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 01:32:35 PM EST
    Not till I'm out of here.  Guess what....there is a chance of that in about six months too.  Yahoo, but don't just forget about me in the meantime.

    WEll (none / 0) (#42)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 12:47:42 PM EST
    maybe it will be enough to kill the bill.

    No chance (none / 0) (#43)
    by andgarden on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 12:48:25 PM EST
    He didn't vote for it in the first place.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#51)
    by Steve M on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 01:04:46 PM EST
    Clearly this is the start of a massive wave.  Or not.

    Heh (none / 0) (#52)
    by Pacific John on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 01:10:15 PM EST
    It's not as if there are that many George Wallaces left.

    Zell Miller is the modern example (none / 0) (#53)
    by andgarden on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 01:12:37 PM EST
    Interstingly, the two look very much alike.

    Well, THIS George Wallace is pretty good: (none / 0) (#54)
    by steviez314 on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 01:15:51 PM EST
    Headlines that would be funny if they (none / 0) (#58)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 01:43:51 PM EST
    One more (none / 0) (#59)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 01:47:52 PM EST
    Swallowing Hard, House Braces To Accept Senate Bill

    Dem Aides Say House Will Go Along With Senate's Version -- With Little Fight ... Key House Liberal Grijalva Suggests He Could Accept Deal


    I pity the progressive caucus (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by shoephone on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 02:16:20 PM EST
    if they accept this POS bill. They really are dreaming if they think the liberals in their base are going to swallow this.

    Capitulation on this will once again (none / 0) (#63)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 02:25:45 PM EST
    prove that the Progressive Caucus is completely powerless and irrelevant. They might as sit down, STFU and let the corporations, Blue Dogs and Republicans write the legislation. The results would be the same IMO and it would be less humiliating.

    I really like my House rep (none / 0) (#64)
    by shoephone on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 02:34:05 PM EST
    on most issues, but, in all honesty, he does not need my vote. He generally wins re-election by about 75%. Considering that his entire Congressional career has been defined by a mission to get affordable, universal health care for all (a single-payer advocate, no less), his vote for this POS will have consequences, be they minor or not. He can deal with not getting my support in any way, shape, or form next November.

    I ain't gonna forget. And I know for a fact that there are many others in my precint who feel similarly.


    That sounds so wrong (none / 0) (#62)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 02:22:05 PM EST