Sunday, March 28, 2010
Repeal vs. Reform: A New Poll in The Washington Post Shows the Majority--and the Intensity--Against Obamacare. Cue Up The Blogosphere!
A Washington Post poll published Sunday morning shows the country still sharply split on Obamacare, with the edge in numbers and intensity going to opponents. Forty-six percent of Americans support the bill, 50 percent oppose. Yet remarkably, a quarter of all those asked said that they had taken the step of contacting an elected official to express an opinion on the bill. So there's plenty of intensity.
And among opponents of the bill, 86 percent support efforts to cancel Obamacare, by either legislation or litigation. Eighty-six percent of the 50 percent who oppose the bill is 43 percent of the country as a whole.
And if, as I suspect, the flaws in Obamacare will look even more egregious in the light of information-age scrutiny from critics, then those opposition numbers are likely to rise. That is, if critics, poring through the 2800 pages of legislation, and the 15,000 pages of regulation to come, find obnoxious or dubious provisions--and they will, of course--then those will be highlighted in ways that they could not have been highlighted in the past. It could be Cornhusker Kickback times 10. Or 100.
One such take, for example, comes from a publication, Seeking Alpha, that I am sure didn't exist during the Clintoncare debate, to say nothing of Medicare. Blogger Andy Sutton writes of "Healthcare's Imminent Double Dip." In 1600 words, he cites job- and growth-killing specifics in the bill, and then concludes:
With all the debt being accumulated, the money being pulled from the real economy in favor of the centrally planned utopia sought by so many on Capitol Hill, and the pressures brought to bear on businesses by this ‘reform’, it is hard to contemplate a set of circumstances under which we avoid another steep contraction in the real economy. It will be interesting to see how long it takes to go from recovery to contraction. My guess is about as long as it takes for a Baskin Robbins double dip to melt.
Most likely, Suttons' voice would not have been heard in the past, but now, thanks to the Internet, it will. And if he is right in his doomy projections, Obamacare will be in deep trouble. Obama, too. And America.
UPDATE: The Washington Examiner's Byron York adds this on the unintended consequences--or were they the intended consequences?--of Obamacare:
On Thursday and Friday, the companies -- so far, they include AT&T, Verizon, Caterpillar, Deere, Valero Energy, AK Steel and 3M -- said a tax provision in the new health care law will make it far more expensive to provide prescription drug coverage to their retired employees. Now, both retirees and current employees of those companies are wondering whether the new law could mean reduced or canceled benefits for them in the future.
But that's not all:
Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, has summoned some of the nation's top executives to Capitol Hill to defend their assessment that the new national health care reform law will cost their companies hundreds of millions of dollars in health insurance expenses. Waxman is also demanding that the executives give lawmakers internal company documents related to health care finances -- a move one committee Republicans describes as "an attempt to intimidate and silence opponents of the Democrats' flawed health care reform legislation."
So is that the new pattern? Companies complain, and they risk getting worked over by Washington?
SECOND UPDATE: Hot Air's Ed Morrissey argues, persuasively,that the poll oversampled Democrats, thus making the numbers mor pro-Obamacare.
Posted by James P. Pinkerton at 8:15 AM