June 22, 2009

Health scare

This is no time to duck the issue of real health care reform.

Right wingers in Congress and elsewhere have been trying to scare people lately with dark rumors of a "Washington takeover" of the nation's health care system. They are referring to the creation of a public option for health coverage for those who aren't covered adequately by private insurance plans. However, they seem to be way out of step with the American people.

Here are some of the findings from a New York Times/CBS poll:

Across a number of questions, the poll detected substantial support for a greater government role in health care, a position generally identified with the Democratic Party. When asked which party was more likely to improve health care, only 18 percent of respondents said the Republicans, compared with 57 percent who picked the Democrats. Even one of four Republicans said the Democrats would do better.

The national telephone survey, which was conducted from June 12 to 16, found that 72 percent of those questioned supported a government-administered insurance plan — something like Medicare for those under 65 — that would compete for customers with private insurers. Twenty percent said they were opposed.

In addition, 64 percent believed the government should guarantee coverage and nearly 60 percent would be willing to pay higher taxes to make sure everyone was covered. Support for a government option was strong across the political spectrum, with support from half of self-identified Republicans, around three-fourths of independents and nearly nine out of ten Democrats.

In El Cabrero's humble opinion, if any health care reform plan does not include a public option, they might as well leave things as they are--which is unacceptable. I hope this survey fortifies the will of the Obama administration as well as congressional leaders not to trade away the public option in a search for what Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne has called "the bipartisanship of fools."


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