Democratic strategists who are counting on a bounce from passing fake health care "reform" won't be comforted by the latest poll numbers. Highlights are after the jump.
A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that was in the field from December 11-14
finds that those believing Obama's health-reform plan is a good idea has sunk to its lowest level.
Just 32 percent say it's a good idea, versus 47 percent who say it's a bad idea.
In addition, for the first time in the survey, a plurality prefers the status quo to reform. By a 44 percent to 41 percent margin, respondents say that it would be better to keep the current system than to pass Obama's health plan.
By comparison, in both September's and October's NBC News/Wall Street Journal polls, the American public preferred changing the system to the status quo, 45 percent to 39 percent.
An ABC/Washington Post poll that was in the field from December 10-13 had even more worrying numbers.
Only 44 percent of respondents support "the proposed changes to the health care system being developed by (Congress) and (the Obama administration)," while 51 percent oppose them.
By a 53-33 margin, respondents expect their own health care will cost more if reform passes.
By a 50-37 margin, respondents expect the quality of the care they receive would be better with the status quo than if reform passes.
By a 55-35 margin, respondents believe "The country's health care system overall will cost more" if reform passes than if it does not.
By a 45-22 margin, respondents believe health care reform will weaken Medicare if it passes.
By a 66-11 margin, respondents believe health care reform will increase the budget deficit.
By a 63-33 margin, respondents support "expanding Medicare to cover people between the ages of 55 and 64 who do not have health insurance."
Remember, the NBC/WSJ and ABC/WaPo polls were in the field before Rahm Emanuel told Harry Reid to let Joe Lieberman dictate terms for the bill. It's a safe bet that public support for the current proposal is even lower now that reality is sinking in with more Democrats and liberals, who have up to now largely backed the health care reform effort.
Howard Dean has been on tv trashing the current Senate bill along the lines he spells out in this Washington Post op-ed piece:
If I were a senator, I would not vote for the current health-care bill. Any measure that expands private insurers' monopoly over health care and transfers millions of taxpayer dollars to private corporations is not real health-care reform. Real reform would insert competition into insurance markets, force insurers to cut unnecessary administrative expenses and spend health-care dollars caring for people. Real reform would significantly lower costs, improve the delivery of health care and give all Americans a meaningful choice of coverage. The current Senate bill accomplishes none of these.
Real health-care reform is supposed to eliminate discrimination based on preexisting conditions. But the legislation allows insurance companies to charge older Americans up to three times as much as younger Americans, pricing them out of coverage. The bill was supposed to give Americans choices about what kind of system they wanted to enroll in. Instead, it fines Americans if they do not sign up with an insurance company, which may take up to 30 percent of your premium dollars and spend it on CEO salaries -- in the range of $20 million a year -- and on return on equity for the company's shareholders. Few Americans will see any benefit until 2014, by which time premiums are likely to have doubled. In short, the winners in this bill are insurance companies; the American taxpayer is about to be fleeced with a bailout in a situation that dwarfs even what happened at AIG.
I saw that Keith Olbermann is off the bus now too. Millions of Democrats will hear his message.
It's past time for beltway Democrats to stop deluding themselves about the benefits of passing something, anything on health care reform.
UPDATE: Senator Bernie Sanders (I, VT) says he will not vote for the current Senate bill. He did not clarify whether he would vote for cloture on the bill.