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American Public Remains Deeply Divided On Health Care Reform

by @ 1:47 pm on August 5, 2009. Filed under Barack Obama, Health Care Reform, Politics

A new CNN poll confirms that the American public is almost evenly divided on the merits of the health care reform package making it’s way through Congress:

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Americans appear split over President Barack Obama’s health care proposals, according to a new national poll.

Fifty percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Wednesday morning say they support the president’s plans, with 45 percent opposed.

The results indicate a generational divide.

“Obama’s plan is most popular among younger Americans and least popular among senior citizens,” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. “A majority of Americans over the age of 50 oppose Obama’s plan; a majority of those under 50 support it.”

This mirrors recent polls on the subject from Gallup and Rasmussen, both of which show the public almost equally divided on the need for health care reform, and the merits of the plan being advanced by the Obama Administration.

This tells us a few things.

It demonstrates quite clearly how important the August recess is to this debate. With the public almost evenly divided and nothing much else going on, people are going to be bombarded with health care coverage (unless something else happens to interrupt the news cycle). People will be persuaded, and minds will be up. If, by the time Congress returns in September, the polls don’t show a pretty strong majority in favor of Obama’s plan, then it’s chances for success over the ensuing weeks seem dim.

It also explains why both sides of this debate are becoming ever shriller by the day. We’ve got the right claiming that the plan would essentially require the elderly to die rather than receive medical care — an assertion that seems to be false on it’s face based on the language of the bill — and we’ve got the left claiming that anyone who opposes ObamaCare is a champion of the status quo and in the pocket of the insurance companies. Look for that rhetoric to get even worse as this debate goes on, which would seem to make the possibility of reasoned debate of the merits of a health care industry even more dominated by government control and regulation pretty remote.

Finally, it also tells us that, so far at least, neither side is winning this debate. There is no consensus in favor of ObamaCare, but it’s also pretty clear that the town hall demonstrators don’t represent the majority of the American public either. I happen to think the demonstrators are right on the merits, but they’ve still got to convince a lot of people of that, and they’re not doing a very good job so far.

3 Responses to “American Public Remains Deeply Divided On Health Care Reform”

  1. Jennifer Clark says:

    YOU POLL IS WRONG!!! If you have been listening to the AMERICANS, you know the ones who are suppose to be employing these “jokers” in congress, you would see the majority of us are DEAD-SET against it! If somebody other than Fox News doesn’t start listening to us, it’s going to get ugly for a lot of people in the upcoming elections! You must believe the president with all your heart to be willing to go down with him and his administration! Mr. Obama is reckless and we’re tired of it! So,make no mistake,we will not continue to be ignored…the Million Man March will look like a local parade next to what’s coming! By the way, we’re FAR from stupid!
    ~signed a christian woman, clinging to my guns and religion
    (Paid for by MY bank account, on my own free will)

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