Deep divisions linger on health care
But poll finds support for key provisions of reform effort
By Dan Balz and Jon Cohen
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
As the Senate prepares to take up legislation aimed at overhauling the nation’s health-care system, President Obama and the Democrats are still struggling to win the battle for public opinion.
I guess you have to define ‘struggle,’ as Democrats generally snuggle up to the feeding trough and Blue Dog Democrats prevent what should have been (and would have in the more disciplined Republican Party) a sure thing.
. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows Americans deeply divided over the proposals under consideration and majorities predicting higher costs ahead.
Which is exactly according to plan. A proper lobbying effort emulates ghosts in the graveyard, each special interest with a cooperative grin on their bony and shrouded face, but carrying a scythe.
. . . In the new poll, 48 percent say they support the proposed changes; 49 percent are opposed.
Bingo! The top Washington eateries are blue with the cigar-smoke of success, as Americans are just where K-Street wants them . . . bewildered and confused.
. . . a clear area of public concern centers on cost — 52 percent say an altered system would probably make their own care more expensive, and 56 percent see the overall cost of health care in the country going up as a result. Few see clear benefits in exchange for higher expenses.
There’s truth in that. Health care reform was supposed to undo the profit stranglehold of insurers, pharmaceuticals, hospitals, equipment suppliers, middlemen, paper-chasers and doctors. One by one they paid their way into being left alone ‘for the safety and benefit of the citizen.’ You bet costs are going to rise.
. . . Two-thirds of those surveyed support one of the basic tenets of the reform plan, a new requirement that all employers with payrolls of $500,000 or more provide health insurance coverage for their employees or face fines.
Define ‘provide.’ Passing off costs to the boss (so they don’t hurt personally until you lose your job) is a major factor in skyrocketing costs. Someone else is paying, so who cares about cost? When you wonder how a Toyota competes with a Buick, dial in the corporate health-care requirement.