Monday, March 15, 2010

Jumping off Pelosi and Obama's cliff

As those few wavering Democrats debate whether or not they want to jump off the cliff with Pelosi, Reid, and Obama, they might be interested in the poll results from their own districts. A poll of such swing districts shows that the plan is incredibly unpopular and that people are engaged on this issue.
The survey shows astonishing intensity and sharp opposition to reform, far more than national polls reflect. For 82% of those surveyed, the heath-care bill is either the top or one of the top three issues for deciding whom to support for Congress next November. (That number goes to 88% among independent women.) Sixty percent want Congress to start from scratch on a bipartisan health-care reform proposal or stop working on it this year. Majorities say the legislation will make them and their loved ones (53%), the economy (54%) and the U.S. health-care system (55%) worse off—quite the trifecta.

Seven in 10 would vote against a House member who votes for the Senate health-care bill with its special interest provisions. That includes 45% of self-identified Democrats, 72% of independents and 88% of Republicans. Three in four disagree that the federal government should mandate that everyone buy a government-approved insurance plan (64% strongly so), and 81% say any reform should focus first on reducing costs. Three quarters agree that Americans have the right to choose not to participate in any health-care system or plan without a penalty or fine.

That translates into specific concerns with the Senate legislation—and none of these objections would be addressed by the proposed fixes. Over 70%—indeed in several districts over 80%—of respondents, across party lines, said that the following information made them less supportive: the bill mandates that individuals purchase insurance or face penalties; it cuts Medicare Advantage; it will force potentially millions to lose existing coverage; it will cost an estimated $2.3 trillion over its first 10 years; and it will grant unprecedented new powers to the Health and Human Services secretary.
And for this mess, these Democratic representatives are going to vote away their electoral future? Amazing.