A WSJ poll finds that more Americans are against Obamacare than are for it:
In mid-June, respondents were evenly divided when asked whether they thought Mr. Obama’s health plan was a good or bad idea. In the new poll, conducted July 24-27, 42% called it a bad idea while 36% said it was a good idea.
Among those with private insurance, the proportion calling the plan a bad idea rose to 47% from 37%.
Even the NY Times, in a separate poll, has noticed a decline in support. But the Times sees it, as it sees so many such things, as a PR problem for the administration rather than a problem with the health care bill itself. Here’s the lede:
President Obama’s ability to shape the debate on health care appears to be eroding as opponents aggressively portray his overhaul plan as a government takeover that could limit Americans’ ability to choose their doctors and course of treatment, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
Ah, those evil and “aggressive” opponents, who portray the bill that way and make if hard for our earnest, hardworking, and meek President to “shape the debate” properly.
One of the problems is that health care reform is not only complex and lengthy, it’s a moving target. Is the bill being considered today the one that will be considered tomorrow? Who can wade through it and understand it? And are there any objective interpreters? And how about the intended consequences vs. the unintended ones?
President Obama and the Democrat leaders in Congress would like to tell the American people not to bother their pretty little heads about all this. Just trust us and all will be well, they say. But most Americans aren’t inclined to do that, especially after the perception of betrayal caused by the stimulus bill and its failure to revive the economy or even to be implemented as promoted.
In addition, health care reform is a bill of a very special nature. It’s hard to think of another subject that affects so many people, and on such a personal and even intimate level. There are the economic repercussions, and then there are also the physical effects on vital aspects of peoples’ lives: the ability to choose a doctor and get decent health care when you need it. And I sincerely hope that no amount of soothing words by the baritone voice of our current President insisting that “if you like your doctor, you keep your doctor; if you like your health care plan, you keep your health care plan” will be enough to convince them that it’s so.
The devil, as they say, is in the details. And, as this Politico piece points out, the details regarding the health care reform bill are murky, complex, and changing. But what the article doesn’t point out is the dearth of efforts to evaluate and explain them objectively, and the difficulty of knowing which analysis is spin and which is fair.
I have been searching my memory for a time when a party has tried to push through a bill of such major and potentially transformative importance to the day-to-day lives of the American people amidst so much opposition and doubt from the people. I can’t think of one; can you?