Obama and health care: Why Americans aren’t buying his pitch

President Obama has been talking seemingly nonstop about health-care reform for about three months now. Yet the New York Times declares Americans still “confused and anxious about a health care overhaul”: A recent poll by the newspaper and CBS News found a plurality of 46 percent doesn’t know enough about the president’s reform plans to say whether they support or oppose them. Only 30 percent strongly support them; 23 percent strongly oppose them.

Why hasn’t Obama been able to take control of this debate?

It isn’t for lack of manufacturing concern about the topic. In January, only 2 percent of Americans considered health care our most important problem; that number has grown steadily to 19 percent this month, second only to the economy.

It isn’t for lack of talking about health care. Just 4 percent of those polled think the president is making too few speeches and public appearances to talk about his proposals.

It isn’t for lack of reading about health-care proposals on the public’s part. More than three-quarters of those polled say they have read “some” or “a lot” about the plans.

So here are some possible explanations.

The number of people favoring only minor changes to the system, while still low at 19 percent, is the highest it’s been since Hillary Clinton was trying to sell her own reform back in 1994. The number of people favoring a complete rebuild, 27 percent, has only been lower once in 18 years of polling on the question. (The choice that won a majority of support, “fundamental changes,” is so vague as to be meaningless.)

Maybe that’s because, as other polls confirm, a very large majority of Americans are satisfied with the health care they receive. And as many people are satisfied with health-care costs as are dissatisfied.

A solid majority doesn’t think Obama has explained his plans well (despite, remember, thinking that he has made plenty of speeches and appearances to talk about them). And to the degree that they do understand what he’s selling, they think he’s being overly optimistic.

And despite thinking the GOP is being more partisan than the president, two-thirds of those polled think Congress should only pass a plan that has Republican support.

Bottom line: The president and other Democrats are pushing vague, overhyped plans that need to be more bipartisan if they’re going to have Americans’ support. Until they fix those problems, they’re going to have a health-care problem with the public.

91 comments Add your comment

Al Sharptongue

September 25th, 2009
11:36 am

By americans do you mean right wing christian conservatives? Its funny how you guys are the only “Americans”, when you talk.

Most americans support some tuype of healthcare reform because they know the system is screwed up

Al Sharptongue

September 25th, 2009
11:36 am

Oh yea …………First!!!

Kyle Wingfield

September 25th, 2009
11:51 am

No, Al Sharptongue, by “Americans,” I mean the people included in the NYT/CBS poll: 22 percent Republicans, 37 percent Democrats, 33 percent independents.

Betty

September 25th, 2009
11:53 am

Enter your comments here The Democracts may need to do several things that they haven’t done regarding health care; however, the Republican will never vote for healthcare reform no matter what plan the Dem. come up with. The health care system needs to be reformed end of story. If the insurance industry was going to reformed itself, it would have done an act of Congress is not need to stop denying coverage for a pre existing condition

jconservative

September 25th, 2009
12:21 pm

“…a very large majority of Americans are satisfied with the health care they receive. And as many people are satisfied with health-care costs as are dissatisfied.”

So when people find their employer provided health care cost increasing every year they will not complain. And when they find their FICA cost increasing in 2 years they will not complain. And when their federal income taxes go through the roof after the baby boomers go on medicare they will not complain.

I keep repeating – medicare/medicaid & schip will spend $803.1 billion in the fiscal year starting 10/1/2009. That figure will double in a few years. No one is lifting a finger to resolve the problem.

booger

September 25th, 2009
12:52 pm

jconservative,

There is no bill required for the admin. to fix medicare, medicaid and schip. they are all govt. programs. If Obama can take $500 billion out of these programs, then why doesn’t he do it. Fix what’s wrong. don’t reform the entire system.

I Bleed White and Old Gold

September 25th, 2009
12:55 pm

Many sources say that health care costs are rising faster than our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Does anyone know which components of health care are rising so fast?…technology, salaries, new pharmaceuticals, new medical devices, profits, etc. If we can find those components, can we forecast that they will continue to rise in cost faster than our economy. Or can there be curbs for the fast-growing components?

Citizen of the World

September 25th, 2009
1:04 pm

Just want to go on record here, since nobody polled me, I’m in favor of health care reform that will protect me from getting dropped by an insurance company if I get sick, that will allow me to buy health insurance coverage despite a pre-existing condition, that will make coverage affordable to Americans at all income levels, and will bring down the cost of treatment and reduce the need for so much defensive medicine. This is what the Democrat’s plan pretty much offers. They’re trying to make sure it pays for itself, but even if it didn’t I would still support it because at least it would be money spent here in America to help Americans.

citizen

September 25th, 2009
1:21 pm

Kyle, do us a favor and research all the waste of tax dollars coming out of the National Institute of Health.
I believe we need a health care reform package; I just will NEVER go along with ANY Bill that is so large and so complicated that Sen. John Kerry states that we couldn’t understand it even if we did try to read the entire Bill. I have never thought that only elected politicians are smart enough to know what’s best for ALL americans.

Linda

September 25th, 2009
1:29 pm

One of the problems with the health care/insurance/reform bills & amendments is that they don’t have anything to do with health care, insurance or real reform. Many Americans view it merely as an excuse for govt. to take over another segment of our economy. Most Americans don’t want the govt. involved whatsoever in our health care. It takes long enough to buy stamps. Just imagine trying to get a shot. It includes NO tort reform, the largest problem we currently have. (As long as new mommies can sue OBGYN’s for stretch marks, we will continue to have problems.)
Liberals & Democrats are those Americans who range from 9 o’clock to 12 o’clock, whereas Conservatives & Republicans range from 12 o’clock to 3 o’clock. The vast majority of Americans range from 11 o’clock to 1 o’clock. All Americans from 11:00 to 3:00 oppose the public option & that includes the Blue Dog Democrats in Congress.
The pres said he wouldn’t sign a bill that adds to the deficit. The last word from the CBO was it would add $1.9 Trillion & they warned of dire consequences! According to usdebtclock.org, our debt is almost $12 Trillion! That does not include $59 Trillion for medicare/medicaid, social security or the prescription liability that are unfunded. The money from our paychecks the govt. has been collecting all our lives for our old age didn’t go into a secure escrow account. They’ve already spent that, too. Not only does the govt. have NO money, we need $71 Trillion. Out debt is so bad that we are spending almost as much on interest each year as we are for medicare/medicaid, social security or defense/wars.
Bottom line is that America CANNOT AFFORD public health care now or at any time in the foreseeable future. We are insolvent & could go bankrupt.

Casey

September 25th, 2009
1:30 pm

There is no way to reconcile this issue with bipartisanship. Republicans will never vote for a plan with a public option which, in itself, was the pre-emptive compromise. When Republicans clamor for bipartisanship, what it really is is an impromptu filibuster. It’s your easy way of rejecting everything the Democrats are proposing. No, the Democrats have been trying too hard to be bipartisan and it’s exactly why we’re in this gridlock.

As far as the polling is concerned, Americans would be happy with anything that wasn’t physically stabbing them in the back. I’m pretty happy with my health care, but that isn’t the issue is it? This is a moral issue; everybody’s health should be covered no matter how poor they are.

tehixe

September 25th, 2009
1:36 pm

“The president and other Democrats are pushing vague, overhyped plans that need to be more bipartisan if they’re going to have Americans’ support.”

That’s absolutely hilarious. Seriously, you’re joking, right? Or you live under a rock?

It is not far off the mark to call the Republican opposition to healthcare reform “massive resistance.” They do not want a bill passed. For them, it is a political football, and if they can keep it away from the Democrats, they win points. For them, that is the beginning, middle, and the end of the healthcare reform debate.

To the extent that Republicans do support healthcare reform, they support paying subsidies to the insurance companies in exchange for their providing the same crappy service they already do. Case in point: Medicare Advantage. Reform will not be bipartisan unless it involves massive cash payments to the industries that have paid off the Repubs. As such, bipartisanship is worse than a joke, it’s a slap in the face to the American people. To the extent that people support it, those people are simply uninformed about the Republican position.

I Bleed White and Old Gold

September 25th, 2009
1:40 pm

Casey

I understand your point of view, but as a man on a fixed income and barely making ends meet, any increase in my costs is disastrous to me. I feel badly for those who cannot get health insurance, and if I were wealthy I would want to supplement their costs. Realistically I cannot. Thus I am opposed to increases, any increases, in my personal costs.

dbc

September 25th, 2009
1:41 pm

Al, you are correct. Most Americans want some kind of change. But most Americans have also stood in too many DMV lines enduring red tape to get a license. Most Americans wonder why the tax process is so darned hard in January (although one of our administration members doesn’t think he has to pay taxes). Most Americans know that Medicare, the Post Office and Social Security are bankrupt. And most Americans don’t exactly think of our government officials as having any business sense what so ever. Change? Sure, I voted for it. But not stupidity. Frankly, I have zero faith in the governments qualifications to run the countries healthcare system. Change, yes. But not owned and run by a bunch of unqualified government beauracracies.

Hillbilly Deluxe

September 25th, 2009
1:44 pm

In my view, whether one is for or against health care reform, Obama made some serious tactical mistakes. Rather than send his own bill to Congress, he let them handle writing the bill(s) which has resulted in an incomprehensible mishmash that few can understand. People will usually take the devil they know over the devil they don’t know. He’s been on TV quite a bit but he never gets into specifics; the average American wants to know if this will make things better for them and if they aren’t convinced of that most will say no. Inspite of all his speeches, he just hasn’t made his case.
He would have gotten farther if he’d sent his own proposal to Congress, went to the people and said “this is how this works and how it’s going to make things better for you”. For some reason he tried to hold himself above the fray and it was a serious mistake, tactically speaking.

retiredds

September 25th, 2009
1:46 pm

Kyle, reading poll number is like what is in the eye of the beholder. After reading your comments I decided to look at the NYT/CBS poll numbers myself (the poll you quoted to Al Sharptongue. While there is a decided decline in President Obama’s numbers they are not alarming, more, I would say, of being more in line with past presidents. “At 56 percent, Mr. Obama’s job approval rating is similar to what President Ronald Reagan’s was at this point in his first term (53 percent); President Bill Clinton’s was at 43 percent.”

If you look at the numbers more closely you and your Republican friends have more to worry about. From the Times article, “But the poll suggests that Mr. Obama is in a decidedly more commanding position than Republicans on this issue as Congressional negotiations move into final stages. Most Americans trust Mr. Obama more than Republicans to make the right decisions on the issue; 76 percent said Republicans had not even laid out a clear health care plan.

And by a lopsided margin, respondents said that Mr. Obama and not Republicans had made an effort to cross party lines and strike a deal that has the support of both parties. Two-thirds of respondents said they wanted Congress to come up with a bill supported by both sides.”

A large majority of Americans, conservatives included in the term Americans, want health care reform. If your party is perceived as dragging their feet in order to defeat reform you will be remembered for that. It appears to me that the formula, while onerous, is working. The debate is happening, as it should, in the Congress, the peoples’ representatives. And, by the way, poll numbers fluctuate year-to-year. From my perspective while it is not perfect President Obama is on the right track as it relates to: domestic economic and fiscal policy, foreign policy, reform of the financial system in the US and world, international relations, transportation (high speed rail), and many other issues that have been left to others by past administrations. Kyle, the chickens have come home to roost, to do nothing would be a tragic mistake.

So, will you and the right wing conservatives stop focusing on what is wrong with health care reform and participate in the process FOR all Americans. It is easy to be obstructionists it is something else to be at the table and formulating solutions (a la, Sen. Olympia Snowe).

And may I throw this in, I seem to recall that your conservative hero George W. Bush lobbied pretty hard to drop Afghanistan to take on the Iraq war (and keep most if not all the costs of that war off-budget – a lesson in Republican transparency). Now we are faced with having to make a major decision in Afghanistan because Georgie boy left out to dry.

Finally, I agree with several commentators from the left and the right that the Republican party has become irrelevant. The party has sewn its own seeds of destruction because it has no coherent agenda, other than trying to keep things the same old same old, and allowing Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Coulter, Palin, and the far right religious right be its spokespersons. When you come up with someone, or even a couple of people, who are rational you might then become part of the solution to America’s challenges instead of the problem.

I would love to see you do an article on the transportation issues facing Georgia. I would be interested if some of the Republican legislators will allow voters to vote whether, or not, to tax ourselves to improve local and regional transportation. Ah, but that would take power out of their family values hands and give it to the people. What a radical idea.

stands for decibels

September 25th, 2009
1:59 pm

I’m just wondering—how easy and quick did people imagine a comprehensive overhaul of our nation’s health insurance industry would be for the new Administration?

There seems to be a lot of crowing from the right wing over Obama’s initial milestone, of having bills drafted prior to the August recess, being missed. Beyond that though I’m not especially troubled by the pace of this particular project; I figured anything worth passing would be worth fighting over.

And HD @ 1.44, what you call a tactical mistake, this Administration calls “learning from Clinton’s errors.” I’m not saying they’re right, it’s just that they had to decide whether it was worth it to risk enduring the same slings and arrows that found their way to “Hillarycare” in 1993 and they figured it wasn’t.

William

September 25th, 2009
2:10 pm

retiredds

September 25th, 2009
1:46 pm
“So, will you and the right wing conservatives stop focusing on what is wrong with health care reform and participate in the process FOR all Americans. It is easy to be obstructionists it is something else to be at the table and formulating solutions (a la, Sen. Olympia Snowe).”

Did you say stop focusing on what is WRONG with it? OMG! Do you think Obama wants a healthcare overhall? Because his special interest friends want it. It is a step to sociallism? It is not about health care! You are a dependent slave on the DNC plantation. Get back to work!

Hatin'on the stupid

September 25th, 2009
2:14 pm

Kyle, you speak about the President’s speeches not doing much to clear up the confusion Americans feel about reform. Is that not somewhat disingenuous considering the right and their corporate sponsors have spent the Summer trying to scare the bejesus out of Americans with a litany of lies and misinformation? It’s hard to imagine Republicans being a serious partner in reform when their playing to the galleries.

dw

September 25th, 2009
2:17 pm

To Hatin’on the stupid @ 2:14pm,

Please change your call-sign to “open-minded on the stupid” because liberals can’t hate. It is a known fact.

Kyle Wingfield

September 25th, 2009
2:18 pm

retiredds: I saw the poll numbers you cited. If all that is true — if Obama is still so personally popular, if Republicans are seen as being less competent and more partisan than him on an issue where the public wants competence and bipartisanship — then doesn’t that say something even worse about the plan Obama has put forward and the job he’s done selling it?

The most egregious misinformation in this whole debate has been the idea, propagated by Obama and the Democrats for obvious political reasons, that there are only two choices: their plan(s), or the status quo. That simply isn’t true — even if the Republicans hadn’t made proposals of their own (and they have), there would be more than those two possibilities. Look, I understand that that’s politics, that you want to put your own idea in the best position possible. But a majority of people aren’t buying that it’s either ObamaCare or the status quo. And to the degree that they *are* buying that, they’d rather have the status quo than a bad reform.

Yes, most people still want reform. They just don’t want the reform they’re being offered. That’s what the Democrats haven’t come to terms with yet. And the longer it takes them to come to terms with it, the more it’s going to cost them politically.

Hatin'on the stupid

September 25th, 2009
2:18 pm

“Most Americans don’t want the govt. involved whatsoever in our health care.”
Linda, or whoever you are writing under that name, that comment is about as silly as the tea-bagging signs saying “Keep the Gov’t out of my Medicare”

Kyle Wingfield

September 25th, 2009
2:20 pm

Hatin’: Even assuming that you’re right, and that everything the right has been saying in the health-care debate has been false, do you really think the right has had more of a platform on this issue than the left?

Tall

September 25th, 2009
2:24 pm

Linda:

The U.S. is already bankrupt. Have you noticed how the dollar has been trading lately?

Linda

September 25th, 2009
2:27 pm

The Dems don’t need a single Rep vote to pass health care in either the House or Senate. If the majority of Dems in DC approved of the bill, they could have passed it in July. Dems are holding up this bill.
Reps will debate & negotiate on many issues but asking a true conservative to vote for the public option (socialized medicine) is like asking a GA fan to root for Tech. Won’t happen.
With the US debt at almost $12 T, unfunded liabilities at over $59 T, the worst economic recession in decades, bailouts at record levels, states broke & the US govt. close to bankruptcy, how do you expect to pay for the $1.9T the CBO says it will cost?

Hatin'on the stupid

September 25th, 2009
2:29 pm

Linda- “our debt is almost $12 Trillion! ”

Yeah. Take a good hard look at where that $12T came from. The vast majority was built up under Republican administrations trying to starve the beast, ie. bankrupt the government so it would have to shed programs that actually help people. Just like their call now for bi-partisanship now that they can no longer steamroll bills through, republicans now demand dems to be fiscially responsible after Bush and his rubber-stamp congress doubled the national debt. Do you remember Clinton handing them a surplus that they immediately turned on its head? Do you remember Cheney saying deficits don’t matter?

Hatin'on the stupid

September 25th, 2009
2:35 pm

“Hatin’: Even assuming that you’re right, and that everything the right has been saying in the health-care debate has been false, do you really think the right has had more of a platform on this issue than the left?”

Kyle, with all due respect, when the most-watched news network (Fox)covers the tea party protests 24-seven, announcing when the next town halls are to meet, and in general, acts as a huge cheerleader for the protests, then, yes, I’d say that’s a pretty good platform. O has only recently attempted to undo the damage with his media blitz which, again, Fox refuses, for the most part, to cover.

dw

September 25th, 2009
2:38 pm

To “Hatin’” – If Bush Admin doubled the national debt to $12T, in your words above, that means it was $6T when Clinton left office and Bush entered office. In your words above you said Clinton handed over a surplus. Most people’s definition of surplus would be “No debt”. So how did Clinton leave a surplus ?

HDB

September 25th, 2009
2:40 pm

Re: Hatin’ @2:29: Thank you for being RIGHT ON POINT!! Republicans don’t want to hear that!!!

Michael H. Smith

September 25th, 2009
2:44 pm

All the more reason not to double or triple the Bush deficit.

Hatin'on the stupid

September 25th, 2009
2:45 pm

Linda -”public option=socialized medicine”

You know that socialized control of healthcare is not what is being proposed. A socialization of health care would be more in line with a single payer system (think Canadian) which has never even been on the table, much to the dismay of many libs. The public option is indeed a compromise, and according to many, a necessary componant to any meaningful reform.

Hatin'on the stupid

September 25th, 2009
2:49 pm

“Most people’s definition of surplus would be “No debt”. So how did Clinton leave a surplus ?”

Aww, dw, you know what I mean, that it was an annual surplus, not an absence of debt. I wish! Believe it or not it would appear that dems and libs, myself included, are fiscal conservatives.

Michael H. Smith

September 25th, 2009
2:56 pm

According to Neo-Conservative founder Irvin Krystal a Neo-Con is a liberal that was mugged by reality. Obviously reality didn’t finish the mugging job on Bush and company.

tejón

September 25th, 2009
2:59 pm

I’m in favor of health care reform which allows doctors to provide care however, to whomever, and on whatever terms they wish. Insurance is the problem in the first place; the bean counters call every shot. Government mandated (or provided) insurance is no remedy.

The problem with the medicine in America is the same problem with every other sector: Federally mandated corporate obligations to maximize profit for shareholders. Altruism is illegal. Remedy the disease and the symptoms will fade. (An ironic metaphor!)

Obama is proposing aspirin for meningitis… because obviously we need to cure that headache, right?

Hillbilly Deluxe

September 25th, 2009
3:06 pm

SFD @ 1:59

You have a valid point but my impression is that the general public is far more likely to be receptive to health care reform now than they were in 1993. We’ve had 15 or so years to watch things get worse. I’m like you in that I see no need to rush things. I’d rather take 5 years and get something that works than a quickly passed bandaid. My thinking is if this goes down like Hillarycare did, it’ll be 15-20 more years before the issue gets tackled again. With outsourcing, temp employment, benefit cutbacks, etc., we have to come up with something besides employer based health insurance. No matter how well anybody plans, we’re all just one job loss/serious injury/ catastrophic illness away from financial ruin. Now is the time and it needs to get fixed.

And for the business owners, think how much better they could compete without health care costs as part of their equation. It might even help us get some jobs back.

Chris Broe

September 25th, 2009
3:08 pm

Every time the born-again birther, Piles Ringfelt, writes with a ballpoint about healthcare, Glenn Beck turns his head and coughs. I’d say Piles Ringfelt has his finger on the pulse of the GOP-spot of the Dominion-Christian and Evangelical Right!

Did anyone read his scholarly and sophisticated take on the Global Warming data yesterday? The irony that this superstitious sot would try to use science to debunk science……especially when he tried to explain the electro-chemical properties of CO2 gas…..it was righteously inbred.

You see, Piles, when you present data, you better get it right, and not just google someone else’s analysis, or else you end up looking like a 23-point criteria match for your pre-existing (thus uncovered by healthcare) medical condition known as Stuck on Stupid.

And as for an RX fix, I think it’s a shame your mother didn’t introduce you to the wonders of castor oil when you were a young shaver.

Jklol

Ragnar Danneskjöld

September 25th, 2009
3:12 pm

Pete CuPont offers his plan on the WSJ website today, and it is a plan all conservatives can support:

First, allow everyone to purchase health insurance across state lines (difficult under current law, as you must buy your insurance in your own state), so that they can get the best possible policies at the best possible prices.

Second, individuals should get the same tax break that companies get when they supply health insurance for their employees. All policy payments should be tax deductible, either to the company or the individual.

Third, health insurance should be portable. Companies should help their employees own their own insurance so that it travels with them from job to job, state to state, and is under their control.

Fourth, Congress should enact tort reform so that doctors can do what is best for their patients instead of practicing costly legal defensive medicine.

And finally, let people purchase insurance that meets their needs, rather than requiring intrusive, one-size-fits-all federal government mandates.

Unlike Obamacare, Mr. DuPont’s plan would not add $1 tril to the damage already done by the wasteful “stimulus.”

dixie clear

September 25th, 2009
3:23 pm

Impeach Nobama!!!

JF McNamara

September 25th, 2009
3:24 pm

For the most part, Americans don’t care either way. Don’t think just because its a hot button for political wonks and listeners of political media that the average American cares. Heck, we’re lucky to have 50% of the populace show up to vote for President, so we know that people by and large or indifferent or recognize that it’ll probably mean very little to their life in the end.

With as much press as the issue and gotten, from both sides, you still have this fact:

“46 percent doesn’t know enough about the president’s reform plans to say whether they support or oppose them.”

This is likely because people are either too over worked, indifferent, or incapable of understanding this complex issue to educate themselves.

Given the facts above, I would just push it through all Democrat. The extremists Republicans aren’t voting for Dems anyway, so forget about them and do what you feel is right for America. If you’re right, then the Republicans will be mortally wounded (dead by 2016). If not, you got two years to fix it or abandon it.

Linda

September 25th, 2009
3:29 pm

Dear Mr. Hatin’, I beg to differ with your opinions. Every president in modern day history has added to the debt, including Clinton. You might be confused with debt & deficits. You might also remember that during the Bush adm., we were involved in 2 wars & the beginning of the worst economic recession in our history. I did not agree with all the bailouts during Bush or Obama. What is most unfortunate is the almost $ TRILLION this current DC bunch spent 3 weeks into the new adm. for what they called the Economic Stimulus bill, the largest single expenditure in the history of our country, which had absolutely nothing to do with the economy or stimulus except to make it worse. No, I don’t remember Cheney saying deficits don’t matter, & if he did, I disagree. During economic downturns when people loose their jobs, retirement savings, health care & homes, it’s inappropriate for our govt. to use borrowed or printed money to go out on a big spending spree to celebrate. You are correct that it’s the job of the govt. to help people, but how it’s done presents the philosophical differences between the 2 major parties, the difference between socialism & capitalism. Dems toss out the fish to the masses & Reps teach everyone how to fish. You decide which one is the plantation mentality & causes some people to be hateful & stupid.

Rusty Shackleford

September 25th, 2009
3:34 pm

retiredds

September 25th, 2009
3:38 pm

William, socialism – right wing hogwash

JackLeg

September 25th, 2009
3:39 pm

I say we ruin the healthcare system that 70% likes so the 15% can get their healthcare paid by us. What a stupid idea!!!!! If 85% of Americans get their healthcare from where they work shouldn’t we be concentrating on creating more jobs?
1.) Here are 2 questions for you lefty wing nuts; name 1 thing that the government runs that works properly with out tremendous waste.
2.) Who can spend over 1 trillion dollars and NOT create a single job, in fact lose jobs? Only Obozo and the dimacrats can, by the way the answer to question one is zero….

Ladysable

September 25th, 2009
3:46 pm

“There is no way to reconcile this issue with bipartisanship. Republicans will never vote for a plan with a public option which, in itself, was the pre-emptive compromise. When Republicans clamor for bipartisanship, what it really is is an impromptu filibuster. It’s your easy way of rejecting everything the Democrats are proposing. No, the Democrats have been trying too hard to be bipartisan and it’s exactly why we’re in this gridlock”

Such a stupid statement. Democrats have the majority – were any of the bills anywhere near acceptable they would have already been voted upon and approved. The Republicans aren’t even at the table so to speak – stop passing the blame for the incompetense of Obama and his administration. Has anyone other than an intelligent few stopped to think that perhaps some representatives are finally listening to the people and refuse to sign on to the destruction of the country via the bankrupsy that a public option will provide.

No one in their right mind will say that reform isn’t needed. Only those with no mind or intelligence will stand by for a government takeover.

Hatin'on the stupid

September 25th, 2009
3:47 pm

JackLeg: “Here are 2 questions for you lefty wing nuts; name 1 thing that the government runs that works properly with out tremendous waste”

Tell me then, JL, if the govt is so bad and inefficient at doing things, why are the insurance companies pitching a hissy fit to block a public option? Should be a piece of cake to compete against such an incompetant entity as the govt., No?

Hatin'on the stupid

September 25th, 2009
3:50 pm

“Every president in modern day history has added to the debt, including Clinton. You might be confused with debt & deficits.”

Sweet Linda, I never said no democrats had contributed to the debt. I said that Republicans are responsible for the vast majority of it, and that is a fact.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

September 25th, 2009
3:53 pm

Dear Hatin @ 2:47, the problem with the public option is that the insurance companies will be obliged to subsidize the inefficiency of the wasteful government program, on a scale much greater than their subsidy of medicare and medicaid now..

Kamau

September 25th, 2009
3:53 pm

It is likely that at least one of the reasons why President Obama’s healthcare reform efforts are encountering so much resistance is because pundits, particularly on the right, have branded it “Obamacare”. And as many (gullible) consumers tend to believe, it’s all in the name!

Exactly what does “Obamacare” mean anyway? Why can it simply be the president’s healthcare proposal, or the GOP’s or the Dems? Why “Obamacare”, “socialism”, “fascism”, etc.? The majority of the people dropping these terms could not even begin to define them without cutting and pasting from Wikipedia. They simply do not fit or make sense in this situation. While I am not a supporter of the particular plan(s) set forth today by the president or either major party, I do support reform in general.

Regardless, there are those who cannot separate their disdain for the man from his laudable efforts to take on something that should have been addresses decaded ago by other leaders. Thus, they are reflexively against anything considered and branded as “Obamacare”, even if it happens to be within their best interests to lend their support to the reform effort. In other words, if one has no insurance or is underinsured AND hates Obama. Then it logically follows that one will REALLY hate “Obamacare”. Can we not elevate the debate beyond childish labelling and name-calling?

Paul N

September 25th, 2009
3:53 pm

The two biggest problem I have with Obama approach:

1) Obama spends too much time demonizing and insulting American’s that want healthcare reform at lowest cost, without a public option . Not everybody that opposes the public option are Republicans, Blue Dogs, paid agents of the insurance industry, ani-American, greedy villians, astro-turf, racist, wealthy, closed-minded, or dumb.

2) When Obama speaks about the problems the healthcare he primarily focuses on health insurance, yet he bundles all cons of both private and public plans and blames on private health insurance companies.

When speaks about health insurance he doesn’t make a distinction between individual health insurance, large employer based insurance, small business group insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, or Medcare Advantage.

Most Medicare beneficiaries or group health insurance employees don’t what rescinding a policy is or that you can be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions. Private health insurance companies are not the only entities that have waiting periods for preexisting conditions: Medicare has a 12 month waiting period once you qualify afer age 65. And if you become disabled you would be denied Medicare until two years after you’re eligible for Social Security.

We definetly need reform but we need more transparency, less deception, more details, and less demonizing.

Michael H. Smith

September 25th, 2009
3:54 pm

There are two distinct forms of capitalism. Fettered and unfettered. The latter, laissez faire, is the unfettered form and considered “classical liberalism”, or as some say neo-liberalism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_liberalism