Sunday, March 14, 2010

#208 Vox Populi--Still Audible over the Static

Health-care-reform-wise. Oyez and yea verily, the Voice of the People has been muzzled and muddled of late by those who perpetrate myths about deficits and death-panels, along with whatever obscurantist and obstructionist tactics they can muster--okay, Congressional Republicans, Blue Dog Dems, Fox News, Teabaggers, and others in cahoots who have been known to strangle grannies in their wheelchairs and rape toddlers in their beds, just to make a point. With all due respect.

All of this SEEMS to have resulted in the loss of support by the American People for Health Care Reform. NOT SO, as you'll see below. But first the facts, opinion-poll-wise. Once upon a time that all "meta-analyses" of the various polls showed that the electorate favored Reform by a "landslide" majority for a long period of time before and after the election of President Obama. The figures the Blogman was quoting during that time, up until late fall of this last year, ranged from 60-75%--say roundly two-out-of-three adult-folk populating this country.

However, once Reform was haltered and led down to the swamp-pits of Congress, it's true that public support seemed to founder in the face of that Slough of Despond. Republicans and Blue Dogs are fond of quoting opinion-surveys that show that more people now oppose Congressional proposals, Democratic OR Republican, than favor them; and that 55% of Americans now want lawmakers to suspend work on legislation, while 39% want them to pass it (e.g. Gallup). Yes, BUT ... these responses, please note, are based on what CONGRESS has managed to DO with Health Care Reform--basically muck it up--rather than on outright disapproval of the idea of HCR itself. And remember, overwhelming public disapproval of Congress qua Congress (forever topping 80%) has to be automatically and sadly front-loaded into any such results.

Notwithstanding, here's the irony: the Populi really DO support the health care bills currently being wrestled with in Congress ... but are being so misled as to know it not. This month's AARP Bulletin that arrived in the mail last week (can't find an internet-version link) makes this clear. When the common, not-in-dispute elements of the House and Senate bills are distilled out, the Vox is overwhelmingly FAVORABLE. In fact, we're back to the approval numbers of old. The Bulletin summarizes a January survey done by the non-profit Kaiser Family Foundation, whose health-care profit-arm, Kaiser Permanente, by the bye, would obviously have nothing to gain by the following revelations (very slightly paraphrased for clarity). Here are the percentages of people who said they now support health-care reform legislation after being informed as to what was already there:

73%--Tax credits to small businesses to cover employees [Republicans must have pushed this to the top, but okay];

67%--Health insurance exchanges , with or without Public Option, to help people get coverage [very gratifying--Big-Med's weakening influence, hopefully];

66%--Existing coverage unchanged/optional for most people;

63%--No more denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions [why this percentage isn't way over the top ... is puzzling];

62%--Expansion of Medicaid to cover more low-income people [should be higher, but reflects, I guess, a "compassionate conservative" weighting];

60%--Coverage of children under parent's insurance until age 26;

60%--Closing the "dough-nut hole" in Medicare (prescription-drug) Part D.

This is what the unanimous voice of the Republican opposition (and their profit-arm Faux News) lately calls "cramming health care reform down the Peoples' throats"--???!!! Well, yea verily listen and take heed, ye willful and partisan obstructionists: their throats seem to be voicing approval pretty clearly here.

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