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If Polls Should Inform Policy, What About Obamacare?

During his press conference on Friday, President Obama made this claim:

Chuck, you have 80 percent of the American people who support a balanced approach. Eighty percent of the American people support an approach that includes revenues and includes cuts.  So the notion that somehow the American people aren’t sold is not the problem. The problem is members of Congress are dug in ideologically into various positions because they boxed themselves in with previous statements. And so this is not a matter of the American people knowing what the right thing to do is. This is a matter of Congress doing the right thing and reflecting the will of the American people. And if we do that, we will have solved this problem.

Matt Drudge has done us the service of calling attention to this poll that shows most voters oppose including tax hikes in the deal. Approximately one-in-three voters (34 percent) believe a tax hike should be included in any legislation to raise the debt ceiling. Well over half (55 percent) say it should not.

But just for fun, let’s assume for the sake of the argument that Obama has embraced the view lawmakers should act as seismographs, with their votes perfectly reflecting public will.

Since Obama is now so enamored with the idea Members of Congress should support only popular legislation, perhaps one of his aides, or even a reporter, will point out to the president that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is massively unpopular and therefore should be undone based on arguments set forth by the president earlier today.

“The question is at what point do folks over there start listening to the people who put them in office?” the president said this morning. “Now is a good time.”

With that counsel in mind, now must also be a good time to dismantle, with the stroke of a pen, Obamacare. After all, this recent poll shows that by a margin of more than two-to-one (48 to 20 percent), likely voters believe Obamacare would reduce rather than improve the quality of health care. By a margin of more than three-to-one (53 to 15 percent), they believe it would raise rather than lower health costs. By a margin of four-to-one (56 to 14 percent), they believe it would raise rather than lower deficits. Not surprisingly, then, by a huge margin – 54 percent to 39 percent – likely voters support a repeal of Obamacare (independents support repeal by a margin of 19 points, 56 percent to 37 percent).

I look forward to the president’s next press conference, when tough, independent-minded journalists press Obama on the deep, across-the-board unpopularity of his signature domestic achievement — and the president, in bowing to his own logic, endorses a repeal of his most unpopular health care plan.

 


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