Mr. President, if I had wanted to see the corporate-friendly policies of Mitt Romney enacted, I would have voted for the guy.
“When you actually look at the bill itself, it incorporates all sorts of Republican ideas. I mean a lot of commentators have said this is sort of similar to the bill that Mitt Romney, the Republican Governor and now presidential candidate, passed in Massachusetts.
“A lot of the ideas in terms of the exchange, just being able to pool and improve the purchasing power of individuals in the insurance market, that originated from the Heritage Foundation…”
And judging from the tepid polling (PDF) response the new HIR law has received, it appears I’m not alone.
16. Which of the following statements best describes your views about the health care bill that Congress passed this week: (ROTATE) Mar. 25-28 2010
15% You approve of the bill becoming law and have no reservations about it
27% You approve of the bill becoming law but you think it did not go far enough
31% You disapprove of the bill becoming law but you support a few of its proposals
25% You disapprove of the bill becoming law and oppose all of its proposals
1% No opinion
A lot of
rationalizing tealeaf reading over at Big O right now about what these less than stellar polling results actually mean. After all, when your party finally manages to pass health care legislation after decades of futility, you would hope that considerably more than a measly 15% of the public would be wholeheartedly cheering your historic achievement.
mcjoan cites the 27% ‘did not go far enough’ number to argue that Dems need to start making fixes to the bill if they want to close the ‘intensity gap’.
One way that Dems could keep closing that intensity gap among voters would be to try to deliver more. They could keep taking on the insurance companies, on providing coverage to sick kids, on the anti-trust exemption, etc.–the elements even Republicans had a hard time arguing against.
mcjoan’s basically right of course; those changes would probably have some marginally positive effect on the Dem base’s enthusiasm. (She might have also mentioned that the easiest way to move the HIR poll numbers in a positive direction would be to turf the mandate, but unfortunately over at GOS that’s still considered crazytalk).
Yet whatever added Dem enthusiasm might be generated by tweaks to HIR before November (don’t get your hopes up), these fixes can’t possibly make up for the wet blanket President Obama throws over his base every time he brags about how Republicans wrote his healthcare plan.
But at its core, if you look at the basic proposal that we’ve put forward: it has an exchange so that businesses and the self-employed can buy into a pool and can get bargaining power the same way big companies do; the insurance reforms that I’ve already discussed, making sure that there’s choice and competition for those who don’t have health insurance. The component parts of this thing are pretty similar to what Howard Baker, Bob Dole, and Tom Daschle proposed at the beginning of this debate last year.
The President must be quite impressed with his own powers of persuasion if he thinks he can convince his base between now and November that Bob Dole, Howard Baker and Mitt Romney are actually liberal Democratic icons.
Somehow, though, I doubt anything short of free Viagra will get too many on the left very excited about voting for Democrats who continually crow about passing Republican healthcare plans.