Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Opposition to Obamacare Strengthens Among Voters

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A new Rasmussen poll has found that “Support for repeal of the new national health care plan has jumped to its highest level ever.” Sixty-three percent of likely voters now want a repeal of the Obamacare law, according to the poll conducted May 22–23. “Prior to today,” Rasmussen announced that “weekly polling had shown support for repeal ranging from 54% to 58%.”

The Rasmussen poll appeared to conflict with a CBS News poll that found opposition to Obama's health care law strong but waning. “Public support for President Obama's health care reforms has increased since they were signed into law in March, a new CBS News poll shows — 43 percent of Americans now support the measures, up from 32 percent.” While last weekend's CBS poll found the numbers closer than Rassmussen, it too found that more oppose Obama's health care law (47 percent) than support it (43 percent).

Both polls may be right, however, because they surveyed different audiences. The CBS poll surveyed 1,054 “adults,” while Rasmussen surveyed 1,000 “likely voters.” A survey of adults is a raw opinion poll, but surveying “likely voters” has traditionally been a much more accurate predictor of how the American people have registered their views at the voting booth.

The Rasmussen poll also found that “Sixty-three percent (63%) of all voters expect the health care plan to increase the federal deficit. Just 12% expect the bill to push the deficit down, while 13% say it will have no impact.”

Those likely voters may prove correct in their budgetary pessimism, as new spending in the health care reform package is expected to lock in spiraling deficits. Actual numbers from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office predict that the health care package would cut deficits by “$143 billion over the 2010–2019 period” compared with current law. However, “compared with current law” is the key qualifier in that sentence. Pre-existing “current law” is expected to spiral health care costs out of control, far more than the $14 billion per year the law would shave from deficits. In other words, health care costs will spiral out-of-control even faster than before, even though the massive tax increases in the bill would slow the expected rate of increase in the deficit.

The CBS poll also found that 69 percent of Americans agree (52 percent) with the Arizona law on immigration or believe it doesn't go far enough (17 percent), and that a majority of Americans disapprove of both the Democratic and Republican parties (54 and 55 percent, respectively).

Photo: Secretary of Health and Human Service Kathleen Sebelius speaks during a news conference on May 13, 2010 in Washington: AP Images

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