Finally, Kudos for the Status Quo

From the start of the health-care debate, the president has always posed a choice (one as “false” as any of the “false choices” he routinely derides): my way or the status quo. And the status quo is supposed to be so awful, so unacceptable, that of course we’ll take ObamaCare. Forget for a moment the myriad of alternatives to ObamaCare. It seems the public is calling Obama’s bluff. The voters at this point realize that what they have isn’t so bad. The Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll explains:

Most Americans see no upside for their family in the health care reforms being considered in Washington and don’t believe President Obama when he says his plan won’t add “one dime” to the federal deficit. The majority of Americans believe they will have to make changes to their health care coverage if the president’s plan is passed. . . . More Americans would rather Congress do nothing than pass Obama’s plan: 46 percent to 37 percent of people polled say they prefer the current health care system to the one the president has proposed.

Well, that’s quite an accomplishment when you think about it. For over a year during the campaign and then for the better part of this year, Obama railed against the current system and tried to convince Americans we had a “health-care crisis.” Now they’d like him to deal with the real crisis: “A 57 percent majority of Americans think the president should be spending more time right now fixing the economy — that’s three times as many as say he should be working on reforming health care (19 percent).”

Other interesting findings: by a 60-27 margin, voters think we’ve become more divided in the past year, and by a 76-12 margin, voters think the economy is a higher priority than health care. By a 53-34 margin, voters think the Obama administration is spending too much. And 65 percent of voters disagree with Osama bin Laden favorite author Jimmy Carter that the criticism of Obama is based on racism. By a 54-42 percent margin, voters don’t think we should force Americans to buy health care.

All in all it is a stunning repudiation of the president’s health-care vision. Moreover, it makes one point crystal clear to lawmakers: they are much better off voting for nothing than voting for a bad bill that contains elements voters dislike and increases the deficit. And that is the last thing Obama wants lawmakers to figure out.