Thursday, July 30, 2009

New Polls Show Confusion Rules the Healthcare Reform Debate

A spate of polls was released today. Several reported that support for President Barack Obama's health-care effort has declined. According to Wall Street Journal/NBC News, in mid-June, respondents were evenly divided when asked whether they thought Mr. Obama's health plan was a good or bad idea. In the new poll, conducted July 24-27, 42% called it a bad idea while 36% said it was a good idea.

This is astonishing since the President has not proposed a plan. He has preferred to let Congress take the lead in writing the bill. And, I’ll bet few of the Americans responding to the poll have actually read the various bills that are being worked on.
The problem for the President is how to deliver an understandable message to such a complicated issue. He has chosen to focus on the economic necessity of healthcare reform instead of focusing on the social justice argument.

On the other hand the Republicans have a great advantage in the messaging battle. All they need to do is continue to scare people with images of “government controlled healthcare.” Even though evaluations of the quality of care within the Veterans Affairs system, which is government run, prove that the VA consistently provides higher quality care than the private system the rest of us rely upon. Facts be damned.