December 21 2010

ObamaCare Meets Obstacles: Funding and Public Opinion

Hadley Heath

Oh, the power of the purse.  And... the power of the people?

After the "CR/Omnibus" busted last week, the Senate had to pass a three-day funding bill (to keep the federal government running from December 18 through December 21).  That Continuing Resolution expires tonight at midnight.  So, although cloture has been invoked on the next funding measure, it's unlikely that the Senate will use all 30 hours of debate.  Expect a vote soon.

The next CR will fund the government through March.  But guess what?  Unlike the 2,000-page Omnibus package, this CR does not include mountains of pork, and, it does not include funding for ObamaCare.

It seems that the message sent to Congress in the 2010 midterm elections was finally heard.  The government is already spending too much, and a $1.2 trillion spending bill didn't seem like the Christmas gift that taxpayers wanted.  Nor did taxpayers want to pump funds into ObamaCare.  This legislation has been unpopular since its inception, and it's only getting worse.  (Sorry, Nancy, you passed the bill and now we see what's in it.)

The following is from Rasmussen Reports.  This week, the polling group found for the first time that a majority of voters think that repeal of the health reform legislation is likely:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 52% of Likely U.S. Voters think it is at least somewhat likely that the health care plan will be repealed. Thirty-three percent (33%) view repeal as unlikely. Those figures include 16% who believe repeal is Very Likely and 5% who believe it is Not at All Likely. (To see survey question wording, click here.

The number who view repeal as Likely is up from 47% last month   and from 38% in early April. Belief that the plan is likely to be repealed has been hovering in the 40% range in surveys since April but began to rise in late October. Last week, a federal judge found a key provision in the law to be unconstitutional.

Fifty-five percent (55%) of voters now favor repeal of the health care law, including 40% who Strongly Favor it. Forty-one percent (41%) are opposed to repeal, with 31% Strongly Opposed. Support for repeal has ranged from 50% to 63% in weekly tracking since the bill became law in late March. Last week, support for repeal was at 60%.

These numbers can be broken down further.  Rasmussen asked voters what they saw as the biggest problem in the U.S. health care system.  About a quarter of respondents said the lack of universal coverage, but the majority said cost.  Of those who referenced lack of universal coverage, 86 percent favored ObamaCare.  Of those who cited cost, 68 percent opposed the legislation.

I would say that the lack of universal coverage is highly tied to cost.  More people would buy insurance if the cost was lower.  But ObamaCare doesn't approach the problem that way.  It mandates that more people enter the market (with already artificially high prices).  And this will only push up prices more.  If Americans are concerned for their fellow man - their fellow uninsured man - they should support legislation that attacks the root of the problem: cost.  And ObamaCare doesn't do this.

Congress scraped the Omnibus.  They didn't want to pay for ObamaCare.  Americans don't want to pay for it either.  And in the market, if no one wants to buy it...  it's either overpriced, or it's just a really bad product.

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