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Reason Foundation

No "A" on Health Care for Obama

Shikha Dalmia
January 12, 2010, 9:07am

Obama's health care marks have reached an all-time low, according to a new CBS News poll, something that is helping to drag down his overall approval rating. According to the CBS story:

Just 36 percent of Americans approve of Mr. Obama's handling of health care, according to the poll, conducted from Jan. 6 - 10. Fifty-four percent disapprove. In December of last year, 42 percent of Americans approved of the president's handling of health care, and 47 percent approved in October.

About six in 10 Americans continue to disapprove of how both Democrats and Republicans in Congress are handling health care reform: 57 percent disapprove of how Democrats are handling the issue, while 61 percent disapprove of how Republicans are handling it.

Approval among each party's own supporters is also low. Just 48 percent of Democrats approve of how Democrats in Congress are handling health care, while only 43 percent of Republicans approve of how their party in Congress is handling the issue.

Moreover, there is little consensus that the reforms under consideration represent the right approach. Only about one in five Americans thinks the reforms strike the right balance when it comes to expanding coverage, controlling costs and regulating insurance companies.

The public is divided on whether the reforms go too far or not far enough in providing health coverage to as many Americans as possible, and about four in 10 think the reforms do not do enough to lower costs or regulate insurance companies.

Overall, the survey reflects good sense on the part of the voters. But anyone who seriously believes that the Dems aren't regulating insurance companies enough obviously hasn't braved through the 2,000-page monstrosity. The regulatory boot on these companies' neck is going to be so heavy (they are going to have to: include a lavish set of benefits in their "basic" coverage package at controlled prices; cover pre-existing conditions; give money back to policy holders if their administrative costs exceed 10% of revenues) that as Nancy Pelosi recently remarked, they will beg Congress for a public option instead.


Shikha Dalmia is Senior Analyst


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