Monday, September 14, 2009

No "Mo" for Health Care Reform

Last week I argued that the President need a game changer from his speech to re-energize health reform. The first evidence would come from polling done in the days after the speech: "Pre speech the President was at 51% in Gallup and 48% in Rasmussen. Expect a bump - an almost immediate increase to the 55% range should occur by Sunday." Well, it's Monday and Rasmussen has the President at 52% and Gallup has him at 53% - that's a 4 point bump from one and a 2 point bump in the other. This increase is within the range that the President has seen even without grand speeches to Congress; in other words - no game changer. The news from an ABC News/Washington Post Poll confirms this:
  •  Split on Obama's handling of health care: 48-48 (46-50 August 17)
  • Support Obama's health care reforms: 46-48 (45-50 August 17)
  • President Obama's job approval is at 54 (57 August 17)
  • Deficit: 65% think health care reform will make it worse
  • Medicare: 56% of seniors think it will weaken Medicare
  • On the crucial "what's in it for me?" question, twice as many Americans (32-16) think it will make their own care worse, twice as many (40-20) think it will increase their costs, and more than three times as many (37-11) think it will hurt their coverage.
In other words - the President changed no minds. In fact, his post-speech news has been far worse than President Clinton's in 1993. Among other issues, after defending the Public Option in the speech the Administration and leading Democrats have all but abandoned it - especially now that leading Republican moderates Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins have said "No."

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