A new Gallup Poll reports that a majority of Americans believe Congress should abandon all of the current health care reform plans under consideration and start from scratch:
PRINCETON, NJ — In the wake of Republican Scott Brown’s victory in Tuesday’s U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts, the majority of Americans (55%) favor Congress’ putting the brakes on its current healthcare reform efforts and considering alternatives that can obtain more Republican support. Four in 10 Americans (39%) would rather have House and Senate Democrats continue to try to pass the bill currently being negotiated in conference committee.
The USA Today/Gallup poll was conducted Jan. 20 to gauge initial reaction from Americans to Brown’s victory in the special election to fill the remainder of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy’s term. Massachusetts voters elected a Republican to the Senate for the first time since 1972. Americans widely agree that the election result has national political implications — 72% say it reflects many Americans’ frustrations, which the president and members of Congress should pay attention to, while 18% believe it is a reflection of political conditions in Massachusetts.
The public’s desire to slow down the Democrats’ healthcare reform efforts also appears to reflect doubts about whether the issue deserves the attention political leaders in Washington have given it over the past several months. A minority of 32% of Americans say President Obama and the Democratic leadership in Congress are right to make healthcare reform their top priority at this time. In contrast, 46% acknowledge health reform as an important goal but believe other problems should be addressed first, and an additional 19% reject the idea that healthcare should be a major legislative priority.
That, combined with the fact that opposition to the plans before Congress continues to climb, would suggest pretty strongly that it would be politically stupid for Democrats to proceed forward at this point.
Which is exactly why I expect them to do it anyway.