Obama Still Faces Significant Health Reform Opposition, Still Polling Negative

The Washington Post gives it the old elementary school try at defending Obama’s health care plans – which do not seem to exist, since he outsourced the legislation to Congress – in a new article that would best be placed on the Opinion pages: Reform Opposition Is High But Easing (got that? Easing)

President Obama continues to face significant public resistance to his drive to initiate far-reaching changes to the country’s health-care system, with widespread skepticism about central tenets of his plan, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The first paragraph pretty much says it all. But it’s easing!

But after a summer of angry debate and protests, opposition to the effort has eased somewhat, and there appears to be potential for further softening among critics if Congress abandons the idea of a government-sponsored health insurance option, a proposal that has become a flash point in the debate. The gap in passion, which had shown greater intensity among opponents of the plan, has also begun to close, with supporters increasingly energized and more now seeing reform as possible without people being forced to give up their current coverage.

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The whole point of the legislation, once we look beyond “death panels,” illegal aliens, IRS giving your information to other government agencies, etc, is to create a way to get the United States to single payer. Without the government option, there really is no point to the Democrats primary legislation, H.R. 3200.

Obama continued his stepped-up effort to sell his health-care plan, appearing Sunday on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” He said that he wants a package that would deliver effective change and noted that he will bear the consequences of any public backlash against the result. “I’m the one who’s going to be held responsible,” he said. “I have every incentive to get this right.”

Yet, he never looks at any other measures except those already in H.R. 3200. He will not even admit other plans exist, despite Republicans holding them during his campaign stop to a joint session of Congress last Wednesday.

As Congress begins its second week back from August recess, the playing field is virtually level: Americans remain almost deadlocked in their opinion of the Democrats’ health-care initiative, with 46 percent in favor of the proposed changes and 48 percent opposed. There is also a clean split on Obama’s handling of the issue, with 48 percent approving and the same number disapproving. But since mid-August, the percentage “strongly” behind the president on health care has risen to 32 percent, evening out the intensity gap that has plagued him on the subject.

There was a five point swing up in favor of the plan, and four down, since the last poll on August 17th. Let’s see what the next poll says.

There are lot’s of other interesting data, but, one thing that jumps out is Obama’s “strongly” approval rating, which is 35 strongly approve, 31 strongly disapprove, which is vastly different from the Ramussen poll from Sunday the 13th, which is 34 strongly approve and 38 strongly disapprove, a trend that has been maintained since July. The Washington Post-ABC poll has a very different trend. Unfortunately, the link in the PDF from ABC News doesn’t work, so, we cannot see sampling methods.

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