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September 18, 2009

FOXNews/Opinion Dynamics Poll: Only 22% Think They'd Be Better Off Under Obamacare

Sorry to do two poll posts in a row, but this one should get a little attention (PDF).

The big ones, for me, are questions 20 and 21. Only twenty-two percent of registered voters believe Obamacare would make them better off. Even among Democrats, that number is only at thirty-six* percent.

This explains why the President's dire warning that More. People. Will. Die. has not been persuasive. Most Americans look at their own healthcare coverage and do not see the horrific situation that Obama describes. Many are afraid that the President is going to make things worse.

And that's the other big take-away from this poll. Forty-six percent of voters would prefer to stay with the current health system than switch to Obamacare. Only thirty-seven percent prefer the plan proposed by the President.

Of course—and I'm putting this in bold—that does not mean that we're proposing to do nothing. Obamacare is bad and we can do better than Obamacare by sticking with the status quo. But Republicans have been consistent in saying, not only is the status quo better than Obama's plan to destroy the health care industry, but we've got an even better plan than the status quo!

You want competition? Great, let's drop the laws and regs that keep insurers from competing across state lines.

You want to encourage everyone to have health insurance? Great, make individual plans tax-deductible, just like employer plans. De-couple health insurance from employment and we'll end much of the fuss about losing coverage when changing jobs.

(In fact, my preference for health insurance reform is to make it unlawful to offer health insurance as a benefit of employment. In other words, don't just encourage individual plans, make them the only kind of insurance you can get. This also has the benefit of taking care of the "pre-existing condition problem" which strikes when people change insurers incident to changing jobs. If you've had individual insurance since your early twenties and kept that insurance through all of your various employment changes, there'd be no problem.

It would also end the massive distortion in the insurance market caused by large employers and unions which place small businesses at a massive disadvantage. I realize that this option would never fly for that very reason, so I'll stick with the Republicans and aim lower.)

In any case, while it is true that many believe things would be better under the status quo than under Obamacare, Republicans have an even better alternative. If the Democrats in Congress were really interested in increasing competition they'd be working with Republicans instead of drawing their public option line in the sand.

*fixed.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 11:23 AM

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