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US: National Survey (Economist 10/25-27)


Economist / YouGov
10/25-27/09; 1,000 adults, 4.7% margin of error
Mode: Internet
(Economist release)

National

Overall, given what you know about them, do you support or oppose the proposed changes to the health care system being developed by Congress and the Obama Administration?
53% Support, 47% Oppose (chart)

Obama Job Approval
50% Approve, 43% Disapprove (chart)
Dems: 82 / 12 (chart)
Reps: 11 / 85 (chart)
Inds: 49 / 43 (chart)
Economy: 43 / 47 (chart)
Health Care: 45 / 45 (chart)

Congressional Job Approval
17% Approve, 58% Disapprove (chart)

2010 House: Generic Ballot
47% Democrat, 41% Republican (chart)

State of the Country
36% Right Direction, 49% Wrong track (chart)

 

Comments
Farleftandproud:

As the Pilgrims who settled our country in 1620 voted when they had council meetings on governing the new America, it was "majority rule". This poll shows that the people who favor a strong public option outnumbers don't. Let reform move forward!!!! The voters spoke last Novemember and now it is time for our leaders to speak too!

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Bigmike:

You libs have the WH, a majority in the house, and a super-majority in the Senate. What's stopping you?

Politicians have a tendency to want to get re-elected. There must be plenty of Dems who don't buy into the 53%.

You obviously don't understand our system of govt if you think majority rule should decide every issue. Does the term "states rights" mean anything to you?

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Wong:

What is stopping us is Lieberman, Lincoln, Nelson and Bayh, Democrats all and their positions are not a result of lack of support for a robust public option in the respective districts.

They have just been bought off by the health industry lobby. They have taken the money, whether through their wives or in campaign donations, and now they have to dance for their masters. That is how the system of government works.

Makes you cons plenty proud, doesn't it.

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Bigmike:

Wong

I hate to break it to you but you are being lied to. Lincoln is stopping you because there IS a lack of support in AR for govt run health care. I know, there was a PCCC poll posted here earlier today that said otherwise. If you want to believe polls from organizations who are pushing an agenda that is up to you. Look at the numbers from that poll. It says the public option gets good numbers in NW AR. The must have placed all of their calls on campus in Fayetteville because the rest of the area is so conservative that Limbaugh is too liberal to get elected. He isn't born again and he doesn't butcher his own deer.

As for bought and paid for, the only members of Congress I saw in the news today because they are being investigated for ethics violations were Maxine Waters and some other Dem from CA. Of course the MSM buried that in the fine print. What is the difference between being bought by the health industry and being bought by the unions and the trial lawyers. Either way someone else owns you.

Why should conservatives be ashamed of the fact that Libs have the power and don't know how to use it? What a shame your leaders don't know how to lead.

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tjampel:

Since September Arkansas has been in favor of a public option; it doesn't matter which pollster has asked the question. I've followed this state through several recent polls. I think there have been 3, all show support.

Liberals have a lot of power. Dems have 60 Senate votes. A few of those votes are held by conservative Dems and moderates. All it takes is one defection from the caucus. Republicans know what that feels like; it's called Olympia Snowe and (at that time) Arlen Specter.

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Stillow:

If senators beleived there was ample public support for a public option, then they would be supporting it. Add the ND and MT senators to the list of not so reliable when it comes to voting on a public option. There's been a lot of push polling on health care, because everyone knows this is Obama's baby. if he loses this, he may face the same fait as Clinton and be forced oto the right for the rest of his administration.

By the way, we do not live in a majoirty rule society....we live in a country that also protects the right of the minority. If we had simply majoirty rule, then slavery would not have been ended in the 1860's. The rights of the minority must be protected...

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RAG2:

@ Stillow:

Joe Leiberman opposed health-care reform back in 1994, when Clinton proposed it with NO public option. He comes from a state replete with insurance companies, and, throughout his career has taken the side of insurance companies at the expense of their customers. He IS bought and paid for by people who make a point of milking customers for premiums when they are healthy, then denying them payment for care when they are sick. You talk about how bad government would be at health care; given how lousy the private sector has been at providing affordable, available health-care for everybody regardless of income and medical history, I can't imagine Uncle Sam would do any worse. True, gov't can't solve every problem, but it doesn't follow that gov't can't solve any problem, or that private sector can solve every problem. Some problems require gov't, some require private industry, and some--like health care--require a blend of both, complementing each other.

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Stillow:

your argument is made of straw. I have had no issue at all with obtaining affordable quality health care. In the past i did with United Health Care whom I absolutely hated, but ever since we changed to an aetna plan, we have had little issue obtaining good care at an affordable price. That is the power of the private system, if you do not like one carriers choice of policies, you can choose another.

Also, that is not just me, polling shows over 80 percent of people feel the same way, they are happy with there curent coverage. Can you show me something else where 80 percent of Americans agree on anything?????

There are cases of bad service, but those are the exceptions and not the rule...if they were the rule then polls would not show 80+ percent of people happy with their coverage.

There is also abeleif out there that a g'ment run system would simply be free. Everyone would get covered for everything at no charge. You would still be paying for the system in the way of premiums and higher taxes. Many of us beleive a public option is designe dto eventually put private carriers out of business...because private carriers are forced to make a profit to stay alive...where a g'ment provider, as we've seen iwth other g'ment entitlements can simply operat in the red forever and simply raise taxes to make up the difference. Obama himself is on tape describing how it will take 15 or so years to get to single payer. When tha toccurs, you will have zero choice. If the g'ment doctors says no, then that is it, no second opinions, no where else to turn to. Plus at that time they can charge you whatever they wish, without competition to keep prices down, you are under total g'ment control.

So again, there are not to many things where 80+ percent of people agree that something is working well...the answer is to improve on the current system to bring that 80 percent up...not to scrap the system and replace it with what will be a totally inferior service....as we have seen iwth most entitlements the g'ment provides, theyhave serious sustainability problems...as most of them are bankrupt and adding trillions to our national debt and deficits.

Everyone favors improving th current system with sensible reforms, I think both parties have good ideas, but the public option is horrible. Thankfully the GOP sees that along with a bundle of moderate Democrats who see the long term flaw in a g'ment run plan.

Insurance companies of all types are usually a hastle to deal with, wheather it be auto or health or whatever, that is just life. Because dealing with g'ment entities is just as bad...the IRS or the DMV is a nightmare at times. So I am not willing to trade a monster i know for one I do not know.

In the end the liberals will drop the public option because they do not have the votes for it. However, if the libs hold firm and demand the public option or nothing, then we will have no reform.

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tjampel:

At this point I think Dems have to pass a public option of some sort or they look pathetically weak. Both Pelosi and Reid have committed to it; Obama has signed on to some negotiated version of a PO.

Lieberman will cave when push comes to shove unless he has company; It may take an opt-in PO. Interestingly enough there are states that now are taking the initiative. Most interestingly CT itself, with the support of Jodi Rell (R) gov. This state-run system now has about 10,000 enrollees, I think, and premiums are quite low. CA passed a similar plan and the Governator vetoed it.

I'm looking at Ben Nelson. He's the closest thing to a Republican we've got in the caucus. If he's on board regarding cloture expect Lieberman to turn tail, because he doesn't want to be known as the guy who single-handedly killed health care reform.

Bayh already walked wayy back on a filibuster; forget about him; I don't see Lincoln being firm on this at all without cover; she needs a lot of help from DSCC, and Landrieu hasn't made any overt threat; she still needs Katrina help in her state too. I don't see her as the one standing up and blocking this bill from an up or down vote based on anything she's said. I see her voting nay on the bill, naturally.

Baucus supported a PO last year; he's never threatened to filibuster. Pryor has never been a serious threat AFAIK (though I don't know enough there).

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Farleftandproud:

It isn't the Public option we need to opt out of, it is Afghanistan. It is a war that loss of life has been increasing, and there is no strategy that Mcrystal or any generals have. They have a weak argument to convince me that the war can accomplish the mission our country wants. I am not anti-war, I am just someone who believes that if you are going to risk loss of human life, there has to be a goal, a mission and a strategy.

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Farleftandproud:

I was rather taken by a conservative argument from someone participating in this debate about States Rights. The term "States rights" has been a trend that has been a part of American life since the days of Slavery. As a progressive I always like to ask right wingers that in many cases state's rights have been ignored from both Democratic and Republican presidents. There is no state's rights to keep citizens from a certain state to not go overseas and over the years our military has been about as Federalist as you can get. The people who want to overturn Roe VS Wade and criminalize abortion under most circumstances, want to make it illegal in all 50 states.

On issues like gun rights and drug laws and other issues states can create their different laws. Nevertheless, both party's use excessive government control and in their own ways don't pay attention to State's rights.

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RAG2:

@ Stillow:

"Zero choice". The fact is, in most Western Democratic countries the government provides basic health insurance and people are free to obtain additional private insurance--just as people on Medicare are able to get private supplementary insurance. The same would probably be true in America IF we adopted single-payer. When it comes to the kind of "choice" most Americans care about--doctor and hospital--single-payer would probably give them MORE choice, as government probably would not refuse to pay, as private insurers often do, if people went to the "wrong" doctor or hospital. As for the taxes, they would replace the premiums most people pay (only those who still got private insurance also would still pay premiums), so the overall expense for health-care might actually go down. In any case, we're not even talking single-payer at this point, so your argument is purely hypothetical.

PS. The polls indicate that most Americans support the primary specifics of HC legislation being put forward. Most Americans support guaranteed issue/community rating (coverage at reasonable prices even if one has pre-existing conditions), subsidies for middle- to lower-income Americans, individual/employer mandates, a public option (a clear majority, often 2/3 to 3/4), and even asking millionaires to pay higher taxes to finance everybody else's insurance. (I get my polls from pollingreport.com.)

PPS. Unless there a national, large-scale, non-profit insurer like a public option to compete with profit-seeking insurers, guaranteed issue will simply make insurance more expensive--and unaffordable for more Americans--as insurers try to maintain their profit margins amid having to cover all these "high-risk" customers. A reasonable-cost public option will force them to lower their premiums and offer more inclusive plans in order to compete.

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Bigmike:

Will the public option have to adhere to the state by state insurance regulations? Private insurers have to. If the govt plan does not have to, then it will have a huge advantage. You libs keep saying it is to compete with private insurers. If you really believe that you need to go back to school and learn basics economics and business theory.

If there is a public option it will put private insurers out of business. Then it will be just the govt with no competition. The only way to control costs will be by govt mandate because there wont be any competition.

I like to give you guys the benefit of the doubt and think your hearts are in the right place. And for the rank and file that may be true. But for the lib elected officials I really believe it is about power. They want the govt in your life from cradle to grave. What better way to keep the riff raff in line than to have them dependent on the govt for so much of their lives.

But the bill will come due sooner or later. The only way to pay for all of this will be huge tax increases or printing a lot of money. Either will destroy the economy. If you think the little guy is hurting now just wait until we have double digit unemployment AND double digit inflation. You aint seen nothing yet.

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Stillow:

RAG2

You ignored my core point. Polling shows us that over 80 percent of the american people are happy with there current private coverage. So why is the goal nto to expand that private coverageto more people? those who have it, like it in a large majoirty.

Bigmike is correct, for the liberals in g'ment its about power. When g'ment is paying for health care, it will give them the abilityto totally run your life...and it will be done is the vale of keeping costs down. Everything we do in life related to our health, where we work,what we drive, what we eat, where we live....everything has an impact on our health and the costs associated with it. When g'ment steps in and is paying for it, there will be regualtions on what you can eat, drink, where you canl ive...what kind of car you can drive, what kind of occupation you can have, etc....and it will be done as means to end...and the end is to keep costs down.

Most people in this country woul dnot be able to afford the higher taxes under a g'ment system and a private plan to supplement the public plan...so a huge majoirty owuld be stuck with g'ment only care. Which means zero choice...no second opinions, if a treatment is deied, then that is it. This is simply anothe rway for the libs to seperate us peasants fro mthe ruling class. The libs in g'ment will be fine flying to there private doctors in the tax payer paid for private jets....while we are stuck in line waiting to see our g'ment appointed doctor.

As Obama said in hiw own words, the public option is simply the first step to single payer.

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