A new Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll out this week (it was conducted Tuesday and Wednesday) shows what is increasingly obvious to those who are watching Obamacare wind its way through Capitol Hill – it’s a terrible bill, everybody knows it’s a terrible bill and everyone it affects will be damaged by it.
Barack Obama, particularly, is watching his presidency disintegrate on this issue. The Fox poll found that by a 46-44 count the respondents see him voted out of office in 2012, though he still holds a 50 percent overall approval rating. By a 54-41 count they’d rather see Congress do nothing than pass Obamacare. Asked whether they favor Obamacare based on what they know after six months of public debate on the plan, it fails in spectacular fashion – 57 percent oppose it, and only 34 percent support it.
The Rasmussen poll out today has Obama at minus-12 in its approval index – 39 percent strongly disapprove of the president, while only 27 percent strongly approve. The respondents are pretty clear in what they want, as well. Rasmussen found that Americans favor a free market over a government-controlled one by a 76-10 count, while by a 48-33 count they think there are too many government restrictions on the economy. Virtually nobody believes Obamacare is a free-market solution, which should give a good indication of how it stacks up to the public on a philosophical basis.
And with voters 55 and older, who are going to make up a very disproportionate share of the voting public in next year’s elections, Obamacare is an unmitigated disaster for Obama and his Democrats. A poll done by ResurgentRepublic, a conservative organization headed by former RNC chair Ed Gillespie, took a sample of 55-and-overs with a 32-25 Democrat registration advantage and found the following:
– 48 percent oppose Obamacare, only 39 percent support;
– Strong disapprovals beat strong approvals by a 40-25 count;
– Republicans in Congress now get a 46-42 favorable rating; Democrats are unfavorably seen by a 45-44 count despite the sample being Democratic by a seven percent margin;
– Independents in the sample reject Obamacare by 52-33 and disfavor Democrats in Congress by a 51-32 count. They gave Republicans in Congress a 44-41 thumbs-up.
But the bedrock numbers on Obamacare are the really awful ones. As Gillespie writes:
These voters over 55 rejected every key element of the Obama Administration’s arguments in favor of their reform effort, specifically concluding that enactment of health care reform now being debated in Congress would increase rather than decrease their health care costs (61%-14%), insurance and Medicare premiums (61%-13%), the federal deficit (68%-7%) and taxes (76%-3%) and would decrease rather than increase the quality of their health care (41%-22%).
It gets worse.
Older voters also rejected the central argument that enacting health care reform legislation would help the economy, with 45% saying it would hurt the economy and only 27% saying it would help. Eighteen percent said it would make no difference.
And when it came to specific proposals to pay for health care reform, opposition to financing provisions under consideration by Congress swamped support:
• 81% opposed cutting Medicare by $400 billion versus 11% who supported it.
• 63% opposed taxing Cadillac health care plans versus 24% who supported it.
• 63% opposed increasing Medicare payroll taxes versus 27% who supported it.
• 60% opposed cutting or eliminating Medicare Advantage versus 14% who supported it.
The only proposed financing provision that enjoyed majority support was taxing elective cosmetic surgery (52% in favor, 40% opposed).
With numbers like these, it’s really hard to understand why the Democrats continue hurtling toward passage of this turkey of a bill. The incompetence of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi’s Congressional leadership is obvious, as is their blind insistence that passage of a bill will somehow resuscitate their flagging political fortunes – and that incompetence, particularly on Reid’s part, gives hope that at the end of the day perhaps Obamacare will die.
But it also seems quite obvious that the uncertainty hanging over the American economy surrounding the Obamacare legislation and that of the government’s approach to faux climate change is impeding a recovery. When unemployment is at or above 10 percent, the last thing you do is attempt to reorder major swaths of the economy.
But that’s what’s going on. In the Wall Street Journal today, there’s a discussion of Reid’s new idea to expand the bankrupt Medicare and Medicaid programs in place of the politically toxic “public option” that he simply can’t get 60 votes for – the Journal calls the idea “even worse” than the public option. The money quote:
This last-minute, back-room ploy shows again that Democrats are simply winging it as they rush to pass something—anything—that can get 60 votes by Christmas. President Obama praised the proposal as “a creative new framework,” while Finance Chairman Max Baucus told the Washington Post, “If there’s 60 Senators who can reach agreement, I’m for it.” Now there’s a model standard to use for reordering 17% of the U.S. economy.
The voters will punish this poisonous policymaking next year; that much is obvious. Conservatives can certainly lick their chops in preparation for a chance to make huge gains in the midyear elections andperhaps even take control of Pelosi’s speakership. But the price of a year’s worth of wasted congressional time – or the even heavier price of devastatingly-bad legislation actually passed by this mob – is a steep one for the American people to bear, regardless of the payoff to conservatives in 2010.