American public: Health insurance isn’t government’s responsibility

This is a remarkable poll result, given the length of time during which this question has been asked. For the duration of George W. Bush’s presidency, the idea that government has a responsibility “to make sure all Americans have healthcare coverage” won a strong public-opinion majority. In the past three years, that idea has lost one-third of its support. It’s now below 50 percent for the first time in at least a decade.

Not surprisingly, there’s a big split between Republicans and Democrats on this idea. But what is surprising is that Democratic support for it is lower now than it has been for most of the past 10 years.

I don’t see how this result can be anything other than an indictment of the way President Obama and the Democratic leadership in Congress have approached health reform. It’s time to start over.

(H/T: Instapundit)

30 comments Add your comment


November 13th, 2009
12:47 pm

The remarkable thing was that half the people who said that it is not the responsibility of the federal government are on Medicare.

Kyle Wingfield

November 13th, 2009
12:55 pm

I think that’s the importance of the word “all.”


November 13th, 2009
1:03 pm

Half the people? And where did you get that made up number, Sam? Seeing as far less than half the population is old enough to get medical care, your point is illogical and inane.

Medicare recipients have been FORCED for decades to pay for Medicare with the promise it would come back to them later. They didn’t have a choice. So yeah, they deserve to get back from the fund they filled. Seeing as Medicare is seriously underfunded, yet has become such an institution that daring to talk about getting rid of it or lowering benefits is political suicide, this should serve as a major deterrent to starting new government-run health care initiatives. They never end, even when they are so seriously underfunded that they threaten to destroy our entire economy. The bills for Medicare, social security, and public pension plans will come due in 20 years or so, and my generation is going to have to pay for it. Unfortunately we won’t be able to because the previous generation made the debt too big with their lack of responsibility and their love of gigantic government programs that never end and always cost 10 times the estimates.


November 13th, 2009
1:04 pm

A typo, should be:

Seeing as far less than half the population is old enough to get MEDICARE, your point is illogical and inane.


November 13th, 2009
1:07 pm

Reminds me of that other poll that went something like this: Don’t you think it’s the responsibility of the fed govt to make sure all Americans own their own homes, whether they can afford them or not, whether they have jobs, down payments, bad credit or not?
I don’t think that worked out too well. Did you notice that the green lines in the top graph got closer together as the housing mess got worse?
What Dems think are rights are what Reps think are privileges. Dems say, “Here’s your fish” & Reps say, “Here’s your fishing pole.”
The next Dem poll is: Do you think a driver’s license is a right or a privilege? That’ll get ‘em votes!

David Axelfraud

November 13th, 2009
1:12 pm

Kyle, it is unconstitutional for the government to impose its will on the people.

The role of the government is to serve the people. Not the other way around.

Bravo to you Kyle.


November 13th, 2009
1:14 pm

I think the Federal Gov’t should facilitate a national health exchange where various types of insurance could be sold similar to the programs most large companies offer. I just had to choose my healthcare for 2010 and I had a choice between an HMO, PPO and High Deductible Plan. I was able to evaluate the costs between the three plans and make an educated choice for myself. The gov’t should subsidize the cost for low income families, but everyone should have some form of coverage. Yes, even the young healthy people should have at least a basic catastrophic health plan in case they get sick or have a serious accident and need expensive care, because people with insurance and taxpayers end of paying for it when they don’t have coverage.

Shananeeeee Fananeeeee

November 13th, 2009
1:28 pm

Most don’t want it yes but it looks like obammy is determined to jam it down our throats anyway. What a guy.

Ga Values

November 13th, 2009
1:32 pm

What is our option? Are we actually going to close down emergency rooms and let people die on the sidewalks. As I wrote yesterday the Democratic plan is bad and the Republican’s is worse. The current program of State regulation is simply not working. The Ox came out to our Rotary a few months ago & sounded great until someone asked questions about individual health coverage. He dodged & hid. I have had the same doctor for 30+ years originally he had 1 nurse & no clerks, he now has 1 nurse and 4 clerks to file & recover insurance. This is simply not right. We need meaningful reform but our congress (both parties) is owned by special interest.

Ga Values

November 13th, 2009
1:37 pm

My 24 year old daughter is in school in Switzerland. They have private insurance companies but they get pad a variable rate (I think around 4%) to process claim. Their executives don’t make multi million salaries for designing insurance programs that basically screw their customers.


November 13th, 2009
2:04 pm

There are things which need to be fixed such as access for pre existing conditions, but Fix is the key word here. You do not have to reform an entire system to fix something.

I think the big problem as far as selling this has been the democrats continual insistence that the entire system was in shambles, when 60% to 70% of americans were happy with their coverage and new darn well it was not a completely broken system. A little bit of honesty would go a long way with this administration.

Swami Dave

November 13th, 2009
2:08 pm

I think this is simply indicative of the fact that more and more Americans are realizing that any outcome produced by the current political leadership will simply raise costs, lower quality, and further overload our existing health care. For the vast majority of Americans, that will mean they are paying more to get less and watching as their tax dollars and premiums are redistributed to provide services that the beneficiaries are unwilling to provide for themselves.

The true fallacy of this entire debate is the continued pattern by collectivists who champion “freedom of choice ” while expecting the consequences to be transferred onto others (aka – the taxpayers).

Freedom does work every time its tried; it works when you do!



November 13th, 2009
2:20 pm

Our present system of health care was created in the late Forties & through the Fifties.
Nothing was thought out, we just threw stuff at the walls and some stuff stayed there.

Then we added Medicare/Medicaid in the Sixties. But the rising cost of health care, extended life expectancy and the expansion of recepients have eroded the financial base of those programs.

Our present system is too costly and does not allow the individual to control their own health care.

BUT, no one, including me, has put a plan on the table that looks any better than what we have. Until I see a better plan, I say keep what we have.


November 13th, 2009
2:21 pm

Polls are fun to study. The way questions are constructed and the results that people try to glean from the answers are quite interesting. Further, the rate of change in the response to an identically worded question from the same group of originally randomly sampled people is something to watch. One should instantly wonder if there were perhaps some previously non-existent influence at work and what that influence might be, for example. If I were trying to determine the effectiveness of a new ad campaign, for example, I might be very interested to find out that a renewed interest showed up in the polling of people after the ad was aired. Of course, there are many things that must be considered when dealing with polls. But, you just gotta love polls. Anyway, I also enjoyed this poll, amongst others.

JF McNamara

November 13th, 2009
2:41 pm

It could be an indictment of the amount of propaganda spread and money spent in recent times to fight the proposals. Most people don’t even have a clue whats actually in the bills. They are just being swayed by propoganda.


November 13th, 2009
3:07 pm

I think the Reps h.i. plan is better than the one we have now, which is better than the one Dems approved in the House, which is worse than the one the Senate will come up with, which are all 4 worse than the one the next Rep pres in ‘12 is already working on.
The lawyer industry has been contributing 69-81% to Dems since 1990 & we elect lawyers to go to DC. We’ll never get tort reform as long as lawyers are running the show.
P.S. I don’t have anything against lawyers. Let’s just keep them to a minimum in DC.

Chris Broe

November 13th, 2009
3:48 pm

Kyle is….RIGHT! Rx reform is too expensive.


The numbers are staggering. Ironically, we could pay more Sunni insurgents in Iraq this Rx money to not fight and they’d stay healthy. I’d rather let the Iraqis have the $120 bill per year. They deserve it more than moonbat americans do. I don’t see Iraqis filming naked girls at Mardi Gras, do you? I dont see Kurds cheating on their taxes, do you? Lets give Sunni Arabs in Iraq our social security money too. They earned it. I dont see shirtless Sunnis running from cops, do you? I don’t see Sunnis getting drunk and driving, do you? The last thing you’ll ever see is a Shia news anchor mugging through news reports like Katie Courik, (a moonbat liberal cheese eater). So lets show our total admiration and support by spending more money in Iraq instead of wasting it on the disease of liberalism here at home.

Who’s with me and KYLE? LETS DO IT!!!!

Chris Broe

November 13th, 2009
3:51 pm

The only reason Nancy Pelosi wants government healthcare is because liberalism is a disease.


November 13th, 2009
3:58 pm

Well, the truth is the federal government isn’t providing universal healthcare–the taxpayer is. The taxpayer is also where the buck starts (and stops) when it comes to paying for all of these over the top spending plans. And the taxpayer is seeing, daily, personal property taxes going up, gas and food prices going up, and is beginning to be afraid–very afraid. The taxpayer would like to think that after working hard all those years for his money, he isn’t going to be left out in the cold.


November 13th, 2009
4:16 pm

The only reason for health care reform is control. The government already controls education, a large part of part of the financial resources in the US and has given itself power to greatly regulate the remainder of the financial community, the exploration and production of oil and natural gas, two automobile companies, and so on. Health care represents 17% of our GDP. They want control of this. In addition, cap and trade will indirectly give them the buttons they need to pull the strings of all manufacturing in the US.

The biggest enemy for their control lust is individuality, and private enterprise, both of which are now being demonized by the government.

Sunshine and Thunder

November 13th, 2009
4:38 pm

Kyle, while you’re at it, why don’t we get the liberals on this blog to admit that government stimulus can’t come close to creating jobs like the private sector can. Obama’s nursemaids and czars are going to tax private business into the twilight zone and spend the money on “stimulus” . You just can’t make this stuff up.

Algonquin J. Calhoun

November 13th, 2009
6:32 pm

Kyle, how much of our resources have been gobbled up by the attempted conquest of Iraq? By the war in Afghanistan? Good, affordable healthcare for all Americans could be funded if not for all the idiotic wars we’ve waged. The real difference between Republicans and Democrats is Democrats want to spend for the well being of Americans, while Republicans do not. Republicans, however, have no qualms about spending billions and billions in the pursuit of establishing American superiority by military force. They get very parsimonious when it comes to spending for the benefit, and preservation of, life.

It’s good to be back Kyle. I apologize to you for my lack of decorum in my discussion with that individual on Wednesday.

Algonquin J. Calhoun

November 13th, 2009
6:44 pm

In an interview with CNS News Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch admitted the real reason why the Republican Party is opposed to healthcare reform is that they are worried that people will like it and vote Democrat in future elections.


November 13th, 2009
7:41 pm

The reason that support has fallen dramatically for government-run healthcare is because a few years ago, people were thinking about it in the abstract. Now that you see the details of what it would actually cost for such a system (loss of choices, higher taxes, higher costs, big governement, etc.), people don’t want it anymore. The idea of socialism is always much better than the reality. Capitalism, even with all its faults, it really the best program out there.


November 13th, 2009
7:41 pm

Here’s another poll. When the fed govt tries the accused radical Islamic terrorists on US soil in US courts, should we:
try to pay down our natl debt by selling the TV rights to both HBO & al Jazeera or just go with PPV,
televise it in both English & the native languages of the perps,
allow female judges to preside &, if so, require them to wear hair rags but no nail polish,
allow the word “terrorism” (I said it again) to be used in the proceedings,
pass out copies of the Purpose of Life on the streetss around the courthouses just in case we experience some Brian Nichols-like antics,
include as their punishment, in the event of conviction, which is unlikely, the requirements they watch Dancing With the Stars & Desperate Housewives, read the Health Care bill & the Bible, fill out tax returns for Rangel & Geithner, & rehabilitate themselves by attending either beauty or law school or both?

Algonquin J. Calhoun

November 13th, 2009
9:02 pm

Capitalism, even with all its faults, it really the best program out there.

It is as long as the system is kept honest but, as we all now know, that has not been the case. The Republicans have, as Mitt Romney said John McCain would do if elected, taken a weed whacker to regulations. The result has been disastrous! Greed, of criminal proportions, took over and our economy was brought down. AIG, Citi and others received a socialist bailout from the Bush administration and it was done over a weekend when no one could say a thing about it. Now, all of a sudden, Republicans are opposed to socialism but that’s just socialist policies that benefit every American. They definitely aren’t opposed to handouts for those rich folks that stole us into the poor house and who continue to collect huge bonuses from funds stolen from the American taxpayer!

Emanuele Lombardi

November 13th, 2009
10:57 pm

The job of the federal government is to defend the nation from all enemies, foreign or domestic. The health insurance companies have been exempt from anti-trust laws since 1945 and have taken full advantage of that. These companies are just plain stealing from the public.


November 14th, 2009
10:27 pm

The issue is not whether healthcare is the responsibility of government. The issue is whether corporations have the right to decide whether someone lives or dies by denying benefits to people who paid for them. Jesus would have helped the sick and suffering so that is why I am in favor of reforming healthcare. I am a true Christian.


November 15th, 2009
1:35 pm

The one thing that “healthcare reform” certainly does NOT do is offer “choice”! Quite the contrary. This was made abundantly clear this past Friday in an Op-Ed that appeared Friday, December 13, 2009 in The Wall Street Journal by Andrew Heinze, a registered Democrat from New York. Following are a few words from that article:

“I’m a registered Democrat living in New York City, and I buy my own health insurance. But now, having seen the health-care reform bill that passed the House, I’m preparing for life without health insurance. And unless I’m the only person covered under the Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield “Tradition Plus” plan, a lot of other people will end up just like me, uninsured.

I will gain one thing, though—an annual fine for losing my insurance. The exact amount of that fine isn’t clear yet, but so far it looks like I’ll be paying about the same amount—$2,000 a year—for having no insurance as I do now for having it.”

Mr. Heinze goes on to describe the fact that, today, his minimum cost for a comprehensive major medical plan is $13,000 per year. His cost on a plan that just covers hospital stays is $2,000 per year. Therefore, he chose the less expensive option. He correctly points out that the $11,000 difference would pay for A LOT of doctor visits should that become necessary. Today Mr. Heinze has a CHOICE between these two alternatives. Under the provisions of the healthcare bill passed in The House of Representatives on Saturday, November 7, that CHOICE will NO LONGER EXIST!!!

The irony here is ultra liberal Democrats want to ensure “choice” for abortion in a bill that, in every other respect, takes away freedom of choice from individuals and transfers that choice to the federal government.

Healthcare reform is something that needs to be done correctly. Another irony is the fact that President Obama wants us to rush into this very important decision while, at the same time, the General that The President personally chose to run the war in Afganistan has asked for more troops MONTHS AGO, but when it comes to that decision it’s quite a different story. No rush there according to Obama! The White House says they need to take the time to get it RIGHT! Go figure!!!

Given the fact that a recent poll indicates the vast majority of Americans believe that JOBS should be the number 1 priorty for the administration in Washington while only 17% believe that to be the case on the subject of healthcare reform, it appears to me that both Martha Coakley and President Obama have their priorities, shall we say, BASS ACKWARDS!!!

For the record, I am also a REGISTERED DEMOCRAT!


November 16th, 2009
11:47 am

Reform is such a wonderful word. It can mean anything and everything to anyone.

Are we talking about less government and thereby more freedom, or are we talking about more government and therefore less freedom.

Every problem we have is the result of government actions and their involvement in the healthcare delivery system.

Simple solution – just like for education – get government COMPLETELY OUT of health care once and for all.