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July 21, 2009

Obama's Approval on Health Care Below 50% in Four Polls

Down, down, down:

That's the finding in a USA Today/Gallup poll released Tuesday. Forty-four percent of those questioned in the survey approve of how Obama's dealing with health care, while 50 percent do not.

The poll is the fourth national survey in the past month to suggest that the president's approval rating on health care reform is now under 50 percent, joining an ABC News/Washington Post poll, a CBS News survey, and a Quinnipiac University poll. It is the first poll to show the number who disapprove of Obama's track record on health care higher than the number who give Obama a positive rating on that issue.

"Obama's support on health care is similiiar to the pattern that polls found for Bill Clinton in 1993," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "In April of 1993, a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll found 51 percent of Americans who approved of how Clinton was handling health care policy. By August of that year, Clinton's approval rating on health care had dropped to 44 percent."

Here's something I didn't know, from Kaus: It turns out that "access" to health care polls badly. I always imagined the opposite, that people were just wild about socialism in this area.

Not so. They know when we talk about "access" we're talking about raiding their wallets (and rationing their care) to cover someone else, so they don't like it.

That's apparently why Obama has apparently chosen to sell this abortion in terms of "reducing costs" and "bending the curve."

The problem with that is that he's actually attempting to reduce costs so he can increase access. So it's not about reducing costs per se -- it's about reducing costs and rationing enough that he can expand access to more non-paying people.

And that might be why this isn't working. Because, while he may talk about one more salable notion, people are getting word that in the actual details of the plan it's not about reducing costs, i.e., giving them the same or superior service for less money. It's about giving them inferior service so that more people can have that same level of inferior service.

Oh: And the premise that Obama will reduce costs at all -- even as he extends federally guaranteed coverage to millions of Americans -- is so risible that audiences are literally laughing out loud at such assertions.

And, to stress, the only reductions in cost at all (reductions more than offset by the huge new costs) will come at the expense of the currently insured, who will find that they must now sacrifice their personal health for the Greater Good of Lord God King Obama's plan.

(Incidentally, apologies if I earlier seemed to imply that Obama's plan really would cut costs. Of course it wouldn't. I was taking his claims at face value, for sake of argument.)

Highly Experimental Talking Points: If you saw the vid on Hot Air, you know that the RNC has decided that the word "experiment" is a winning one for Republicans. The Huffington Post got a leaked RNC report pushing the talking points:

* President Obama and Democrats are conducting a grand experiment with our economy, our country, and now our health care.

* President Obama's massive spending experiments have created more debt than at any other time in our nation's history.

* The President experimented with a $780 billion dollar budget-busting stimulus plan and unemployment is still rising. The President experimented with banks and auto companies, and now we're on the hook for tens of billions of dollars with no exit plan.

* Now the President is proposing more debt and more risk through a trillion dollar experiment with our health care.

* Democrats are proposing a government controlled health insurance system, which will control care, treatments, medicines and even what doctors a patient may see.

* This health care experiment will have consequences for generations, but President Obama and Democrats want to ram this legislation through Congress in two months.

* President Obama's health care experiment is too much, too fast, too soon. Our country cannot afford to fix health care through a rushed experiment.

* Americans want health care reform that addresses, not increases, cost or debt.

* Government takeover is the wrong way to go -- health care decisions should remain between the doctor and the patient.

I wouldn't have guessed "experiment" held a lot of rhetorical power, but that's why no one pays me for my insights.* Personally, I'm already overloaded on "experiment" myself, and I just saw one guy using the word. Steele said it about ten times.

I guess this sort of repetition works. But it sure seems transparent and silly.

* Well, you guys do pay me -- and thanks. But no one is putting me on a salary.

Thanks to AHFF Geoff.

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posted by Ace at 05:44 PM

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