Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Poll: People Are Hanging In There

There was an interesting CNN poll released yesterday, in the middle of all the health-care controversy, with teabaggers and birthers, Congressmen shouting out insults in Congress, death panels and talk about euthanizing grandma -- you have to wonder, what do people really think is going on?

I'm going to skip to the questions that interest me, you might want to go to the SUMMARY or the the survey RESULTS for more information.

First of all, people do approve of how the new guy is handling his job, 58 to 40 percent. It's not what it was, but he's a popular President. When asked about whether he had handled particular things well, majorities approved of his handling of The economy 54%; Foreign affairs 58%; Health care policy 51%; and even Taxes 51%. Only 46% liked how he was doing with the federal budget deficit.

Fifty one percent of Americans favor his health plan, which isn't a great majority but it's good enough. Most people think their costs will go up, and more people thought that senior citizens would be worse off under the health plan than better off.

Here was a good one. In reacting to President Obama's health care proposals, do you think the Republicans are generally offering constructive criticism, or are they being obstructionist for mostly political reasons? Thirty five percent said "Constructive," 61% said "Obstructionist," and 5% had no opinion. So while it seems that the Republicans might be largely succeeding at undermining the President's plan, they aren't winning any points for themselves.

Okay, to tell you the truth, here's the question that got my attention in the first place, the "death panel" question: If Obama's plan became law, do you think senior citizens or seriously-ill patients would die because government panels would prevent them from getting the medical treatment they needed? "Would happen" 41%; "Would not happen" 57%; "No opinion" 2%.

So while you can say, glass-half-full, that "most people" understand there will not be death panels, more than four out of ten do believe it.

When you walk down the street into a stream of faces, people going to work, people worrying about their kids, their mortgages, the Redskins, getting enough fiber, whether their breath smells okay today, you can figure that nearly every other one of those people thinks that the Obama health plan will include death panels of bureaucrats who will decide whether senior citizens are productive enough to deserve medical attention.

Another one, the "socialist" question: If Obama's plan became law, do you think the federal government would or would not eventually take over all aspects of the country's health care system?

Fifty five percent said it Would happen; 42% said it Would not happen; 2% had no opinion. Call that a success for the insurance industry's propaganda machine.

In other questions, 47% think the health plan would provide insurance to illegal aliens, compared to 49% who think it would not, and 74% thought the health plan would increase the federal budget deficit, while 24% thought it would not.

To my mind, that's a good public opinion question, and a clear result. People expect this health plan will be expensive.

Two more. I think these are fascinating, especially taken together.

During that address, a Republican member of the U.S. House shouted that Obama had lied while Obama was speaking. Do you think that was appropriate behavior or inappropriate behavior?

Fifteen percent of people thought that was Appropriate, 85% said Inappropriate. That's clear, and quite refreshing, people still want their government to be run with dignity.

And then the related question: And just your best guess -- based on what you have read or heard about that address, do you think Obama lied while he was speaking to Congress on Wednesday night, or don't you think so?

Thirty two percent thought he had lied, 60% thought he had not, with 8% no opinion.

The important lesson from these last two questions is that a tiny minority felt it was okay to yell "You lie" at the President of the United States when he is addressing a joint session of Congress, but a not-so-tiny minority thought maybe he was actually lying. That means that there are a lot of people who are level-headed enough to want to preserve decorum even in a situation where they agree with the opinion that was shouted out.

It is shocking that so many people accept the "death panel" and "socialist" frames, but in general this poll reflects a fair-minded population that wants to see the debate managed coolly and intelligently and is being assaulted by outrageous propaganda.

51 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

as we have seen, Obama is mounting quite a propaganda blitz to try and pull this program over on the American people

several polls show Obama picked up a couple of points this week but CNN is an outlier

"Fifty one percent of Americans favor his health plan, which isn't a great majority but it's good enough."

actually, it's not

you don't make a change of this magnitude when only half the people support it

and CNN is the only one that has a majority supporting it

of course, some bill will pass

it just matters what will be in it

I don't see any specifics

then, the pollster asked if it was appropriate to shout liar at the President during his speech

why didn't he ask if it was appropriate for the President to call his opponents liars repeatedly?

September 15, 2009 4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Two more. I think these are fascinating, especially taken together."

That was fascinating but how about these two:

"74% thought the health plan would increase the federal budget deficit, while 24% thought it would not."

"And then the related question: And just your best guess -- based on what you have read or heard about that address, do you think Obama lied while he was speaking to Congress on Wednesday night, or don't you think so?

Thirty two percent thought he had lied, 60% thought he had not, with 8% no opinion."

So, 74% think that the health bill will increase the Federal deficit but only 32% think he lied.

And yet Obama said the plan won't increase the budget one bit.

huh?

Something missing in the translation here.

Are you sure this was a poll of Americans?

September 15, 2009 5:16 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, these are people's opinions and reflect what they have heard. The fact that a majority believes the plan will increase the deficit means that Republican sound-bites are being heard and understood, it is not of course an expert opinion about what will really happen.

JimK

September 15, 2009 5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, they're right it will increase the deficit

Obama says it won't

are you saying those 32% (per CNN) think Obama is simply wrong about it rather than lying?

or do you think the 32% don't even know what he said?

if so, do you think Obama knows what he's saying because it seems like a lot of other people don't?

September 15, 2009 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I should have said 42%.

That's how many are confused (74-32).

September 15, 2009 5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"When asked about whether he had handled particular things well, majorities approved of his handling of The economy 54%; Health care policy 51%; 46% liked how he was doing with the federal budget deficit."

We've got a problem here. The venerable Gallup poll, out today, says 46% approve Obama's handling of 43% health care, 38% federal budget. Strangely enough, that's exactly an 8% discrepancy in every category. Pretty material.

Someone's calculator has a virus.

Who should we believe, Gallup or CNN?

Most would say Gallup but even more so since ABC and Washington Post polls also match Gallup.

Nothing to celebrate at the White House.

Gallup also asked a particularly pointed question: Do you think Obama's health care plan will accomplish its goals?

38% said yes.

He needs to get on board with the Republicans if he'd like to serve two terms.

You know Obama accused his opposition of engaging in a bunch of "bickering".

The last President to use that term was the last one-term President, George H.W. Bush. "America didn't send us here to bicker" said Ronald Reagan's worst decision.

September 15, 2009 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

you don't make a change of this magnitude when only half the people support it

You're kidding right? Forty-five years ago:

"President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a bill that changed the face of America. It opened all public accommodations -- hotels, restaurants, swimming pools -- to all Americans regardless of race, color, religion or national origin.

The bill also ended legal discrimination in employment on the basis of race or sex, and established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to enforce the law. The signing ceremony represented a personal triumph for Johnson, who lobbied tirelessly on behalf of the bill."


In a few months, we'll be substituting "Barack H. Obama" for "Lyndon B. Johnson" and "America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009" for "Civil Rights Act of 1964."

September 15, 2009 6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, based on what you were saying last November, by now, we'd have Barry on Mount Rushmore and be amending the Constitution to make him ruler for life

didn't work out that way, did it?

when does the affordable part start?

first we see what actually passes then we'll see who gets the blame for the mess it will make of our country

in 2012, will bumpersticks read "Obama lied, your health insurance died"?

no, he's being stopped as we speak

September 15, 2009 9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"you don't make a change of this magnitude when only half the people support it

You're kidding right?"

Hate to break it to you, anon-B, but fewer than half of Americans support Obamacare.

The CNN poll is wrong.

September 15, 2009 10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bea -- I'm not getting your argument. Majorities in both parties (Democrat and Republican) voted for the Civil Rights Act.

September 15, 2009 11:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is difficult, as always, to ascertain anon-B's type of logic

over 80% of Republicans voted for the 1964 act

while support among Democrats was only in the 60% range, still, overall, there wasn't any large divide in Congress

one interesting Democrat vote against civil rights was Al Gore's father

September 15, 2009 11:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous:...just exactly when did God appoint you The Great Expert? ("The CNN poll is wrong.")

Secondly: You said, "why didn't he ask if it was appropriate for the President to call his opponents liars repeatedly?" Please cite specitic examples (date, time, persons whom he called "liars") to support your usual McCarthy-like assertions.
Citizen

September 16, 2009 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

he gave me five senses, Citizen, so I can look at all the other polls conducted that day and see they all contradict CNN

you don't have to be an "expert" to perceive simple truth

September 16, 2009 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Realignment is dead. President Barack Obama and Democrats blew it.

In the latest Washington Post/ABC poll, 43 percent of voters labeled themselves independents.

Democrats should ask why, this summer, the vaunted Obama machine and e-mail list inspired virtually none of his supporters to attend town meetings, compared to opponents, who inspired masses to dominate the summer debate.

Here is how Obama blew it: Many Americans who endured the pain of a rip-off recession now endure the pain of a rip-off recovery. For them, life under a Democratic president and Congress means trading one rip-off for another, giving them neither hope, nor change, nor an end to their pain.

2008 was a 1932 moment. But the power of eloquence ends when the reality of people’s lives does not change. If a president reads a book about Franklin Roosevelt and then names Timothy Geithner to the Treasury, America gets Geithner, not Roosevelt, and more status quo, not change.

Under Obama, as under George W. Bush, we will have banner headlines about historic Christmas bonuses for bankers and Wall Street that will enflame the nation, alongside headlines about 10 percent unemployment, declining home values, mounting foreclosures, skyrocketing credit card rates and a war that will require more troops without a plan for success.

Generations of Americans will pay for the bailouts, while those who took them have historic paydays and those who pay for them endure the pain under Obama, as they did under Bush.

The difference between realignment, which is dead, and dealignment, which has arrived, is that many Americans remember life under the most unpopular Republican president in a generation and compare it to life under a Democratic president with large majorities in Congress — and for them, life has not gotten better, and for some, it has gotten worse.

September 16, 2009 3:55 PM  
Anonymous laughing hyena said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

September 16, 2009 4:21 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

The archbishop of Washington argues the moral case for "urgently needed" health care reform in the following op-ed:

As Congress returns to work, the debate on health care reform surely will focus on the political, technical and economic repercussions of various proposals. What cannot get lost in this debate, however, are the moral implications. Health care is about life and death, who can take their children to the doctor and who cannot, who can afford decent medical coverage and who is left to fend for themselves. Because health care reform has real consequences -- literally life and death -- decisions must be evaluated through a prism of fundamental ethical principles to see how they will impact the dignity and value of each human life.

In some areas there seems to be consensus. Most people agree that it is not right that tens of millions of Americans lack basic health care coverage and many more risk losing what they have as costs rise. All of us should be able to acknowledge that a society that does not ensure basic health care for its people is failing in a fundamental way.
There also seems to be general agreement that we can do better. Our nation has the capacity and the resources to ensure that all have access to health care coverage. Arguably, we have the best health care in the world. However, it serves too few and often costs too much. We need to find practical ways to see that no one lacks access to basic health care.

As part of living out the Gospel challenge to heal, the Catholic community knows firsthand the impact of the current crisis. The Catholic Health Association alone represents hundreds of Catholic hospitals and health care systems across the United States. In fact, the nation's 600 Catholic hospitals care for one-sixth of all hospital patients in the United States. Add onto that the more than 1,000 nursing homes, neighborhood clinics and other health ministries, such as the Spanish Catholic Center's medical clinic right here in the nation's capital, as well as the outreach by thousands of parishes nationwide to those in need.

We offer a safety net for many who fall through the huge cracks of a failing health care system. The uninsured find their way to our emergency rooms, shelters and clinics where they know they will not be turned away.

We teach that health care is a basic human right, an essential safeguard of human life and dignity. Here in the Archdiocese of Washington, the Catholic community serves nearly 600,000 people in our hospitals and other health care facilities and over 120,000 persons through Catholic Charities, including its Family Centers, and even more through parishes. It is this direct, frontline experience that has guided the Church's efforts for decades to expand and improve health care coverage in our nation and our work for genuine health care reform today.

September 16, 2009 4:57 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

The archbishop of Washington argues the moral case for "urgently needed" health care reform in the following op-ed:

So, what are some of the basics of health care reform?

Health care reform especially needs to protect those at the beginning of life and at its end -- the most vulnerable and the voiceless. It is essential that reform include long-standing and widely supported federal restrictions on abortion funding and mandates and uphold existing conscience protections for health care providers. Abandoning current federal policies on abortion funding and conscience protection, thereby forcing people to pay for or participate in abortion would be morally reprehensible and a repudiation of the understanding of individual freedom and the rights of conscience that goes back to the American Revolution.

Universal coverage should be universal, including everyone. Health care reform cannot leave people out because of pre-existing conditions, chronic illnesses, their place of work or because they cannot afford insurance. Reform should not leave people out because of where they come from or when they arrived here.

The United Stated Conference of Catholic Bishops, following the Gospel mandate to care for the "least of these," urges us to look at health care from the bottom up. A particular gauge against which to measure true universal coverage would be how reform treats the immigrants in our midst who contribute their labor and taxes to our nation, but are at risk of being left out of health care reform.

We need also to find effective ways to bring together public, private and non-profit health care actors in ways that harness their strengths, overcome their shortcomings and, particularly with religious partners, respect their mission and identity.

Our political leadership faces both a challenge and an opportunity. We hope and we also pray that all in this debate will remember that what is really at stake are the lives, dignity and health care of all our people. Securing health care that protects the life and dignity of all is a moral imperative and an urgent national priority.

September 16, 2009 4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ensuring that all have access to healthcare requires lowering its cost

government can take three steps to seriously tackle the problem:

1. reform the tort system so that doctor's libility for error is judged by those with expertise to do so

2. cut out the middle man on health care purchase decisions by ending the unfair subsidy for those whose health insurance is paid by their employer

3. dramatically increase the number of students in American medical schools

The goal of 100% coverage without reduction in quality or self-determination will not be achieved by the bill unveiled by Max Baucus today

Baucus' bill does kill the public option and elimnates any government funding of abortion, so it's an improvement, but it continues to insist this can all be paid for by huge Medicare cuts without any effect on the elderly

lower middle class will now be required to purchase insurance just like they are now required to buy car insurance

or they will be required to pay a fine

the fine is actually lower than the average cost of insurance so the end result will be that many will choose to forgo insurance and also be poorer

thanks, Barry, on behalf of the huddled masses

more important, drivers can be required to buy insurance under the rationale that "driving is a privilege"

will we now say the same about living?

obviously not

the mandate is unconstitutional and will eventually be so ruled by the Roberts Court

if it passes

September 16, 2009 5:20 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

1. reform the tort system

Apparently you didn't hear or read the President's speech to Congress last week, you know, the one that Joe Wilson ended up apologizing to the President for interrupting him.

Here's one of the comments that got the GOP up on their feet, applauding the President:

"...many in this chamber – particularly on the Republican side of the aisle – have long insisted that reforming our medical malpractice laws can help bring down the cost of health care. I don't believe malpractice reform is a silver bullet, but I have talked to enough doctors to know that defensive medicine may be contributing to unnecessary costs. So I am proposing that we move forward on a range of ideas about how to put patient safety first and let doctors focus on practicing medicine. I know that the Bush Administration considered authorizing demonstration projects in individual states to test these issues. It's a good idea, and I am directing my Secretary of Health and Human Services to move forward on this initiative today..."

A new Bloomberg poll has found that most Americans think "...many of the claims about health care legislation are distortions or "scare tactics,"...the so-called "death panels" charge raised by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin...Sixty-three percent of those polled believe the "death panel" moniker is a distortion or scare tactic compared to 30 percent who said it is a legitimate criticism.

Republicans such as House Minority Leader John Boehner and anti-abortion groups have charged that reform legislation would allow taxpayer-funded abortions. Sixty-one percent dismissed that as a distortion compared to 33 percent who said it was legitimate.

Critics have warned that an overhaul would lead to health care rationing, although many supporters of reform counter that rationing, in effect, already exists because of insurance company policies and the inability to afford health care. Those polled called this charge a scare tactic, 59 percent to 35 percent.

The idea that the government would pay for health care for illegal immigrants – which prompted South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson's shout of "You lie" during President Obama's speech to Congress last week -- was rejected by 58 percent of respondents, while 37 percent thought it was legitimate.

The knock on the health plan that drew the highest level of concern was the charge that reform would lead to socialized medicine, something that 43 percent said was a legitimate fear. But 52 percent called it a distortion.
Overall, the poll found 48 percent backed Obama's push for a health care overall compared to 42 percent who opposed it, with 10 percent undecided.


Spin your little heart out Anon. Apparently I'm not the only one who's *not* buying the distortions of HR3200 you keep spinning.

September 16, 2009 8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon-B

Disraeli said there were three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics.

He died before you start posting here or else he'd have had a quartet.

So much of TTF argumentation revolves around numbers of crowds or poll numbers where they cherrypick the estimates favorable to them.

Try some substance for a change.

So, I inform you that tort reform will save money and your response is that I must not have watched Obama's 120somethingth speech about health care?

It must not be true because he said he doesn't think it is.

What can I say about such a compelling argument.

Wow, he's going to do a test project!

Wish he'd do the same with his whole dubious health bill before he tries to inflict it on an innocent society.

Several of the claims you just made have been debunked by independent fact checkers.

Before Baucus' bill unveiled today, experts agreed:

The bill will apply subtle pressure on the elderly to make living wills ending their life early to save healthcare dollars.

The bill would fund plans that include abortion coverage.

The bill would make available insurance subsidies to illegal aliens.

Government would ration health care by regulating what insurance companies cover, based on comparative effectivness studies.

A public option would eventually drive private companies out of business, leaving only government-run health care, that is socialized medicine.

The bill will raise premiums for everyone, drive lower middle class citizens into poverty, cut benefits for everyone who currently has insurance but mostly for the elderly, reduce the quality of healthcare for everyone, bankrupt health insurance companies.

It will not result in universal coverage.

And, as a bonus, will drive up deficits to such astronomical levels that it will make tax increases on middle class America unavoidable.

September 16, 2009 9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It must not be true because he said he doesn't think it is."

No, Smart Person, her point was that Obama does think it's true, he made the exact same point you just tried to make, you're arguing with nobody, moron.

September 16, 2009 9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually, he was ambiguous

it "may" contribute so let's do some tests?

not testing any other part of the bill before we try to ram it down the throats of American public that has buyer's remorse over the Obama administration

September 16, 2009 9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God, you are stupid. Go back up several comments and look at what Aunt Bea quoted from Obama's speech.

Clearly, you are simply opposed to anything the Democrats propose, you just proved that.

September 16, 2009 10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey -- remember when Obama declared loudly in a speech a while back that if any lawmaker wants to come to him, he'd go through the healthcare bill line by line?

Well, turns out that Congressman Phil Roe, who himself has personally gone through all five healthcare proposals line by line AND is a physician to boot, sent two or three letters plus e-mails to Obama, offering to go through the healthcare bill line by line. Four other Congressman signed on with Roe to meet with the president.

And guess what? Roe has received NOT ONE WORD from Obama. Roe says that they're going to try to send a message via carrier pigeon next...

September 16, 2009 10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Roe is an idiot too if he thinks the President of the United States is going to drop everything to waste time with him.

September 16, 2009 10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama said in a well-publicized speech that he would meet with any opponent in Congress to discuss the bill line by line. Roe and four others in Congress took him up on his offer, and they have been doing serious research, reading every line of the bill.

Why in the world would Obama have lied about this?

September 16, 2009 10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Roe Accepts President Obama’s Offer To Go Over Health Bill “Line-by-Line”

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Dr. Phil Roe (TN-1) accepted the President’s offer to go over the health care bill with him “line-by-line.”

Yesterday at a town hall meeting in Raleigh, NC, CNN reported the President offering an invitation to members of Congress to go over the health care bill line-by-line in a statement:

“When we come back in September, I will be available to answer any questions that members of Congress have,” President Obama said in Raleigh. “If they want to come over to the White House and go over line-by-line what's going on, I will be happy to do that.” CNN

Enclosed is the text of the letter Dr. Roe sent to the President accepting his invitation to go over the health care bill with him:

I am writing to accept your offer yesterday from your health care town hall meeting in Raleigh to “come over to the White House and go over line-by-line what's going on.”

As a physician who helped patients for over 30 years, I am deeply concerned about some of the changes being proposed in this legislation. From reading the 1,000+ pages of the House bill, H.R. 3200, a clear byproduct of the legislation will be an expansive new bureaucracy put directly between patients and the care recommended by their doctors.

I would also like to share some experiences we have had in our state with TennCare, which was created in 1994 as a way to expand universal coverage and was written in a similar fashion to this legislation. What we learned is that the costs rose dramatically, and the state had to cut people from the program because it was financially unsustainable.

By sitting down and going through the bill together, we will come to some mutual understanding about why many House Republicans are raising concerns about the approach put forward in the bill in front of us. Additionally, I would be happy to share some ideas on how we can enact bipartisan reforms that reduce the cost of and increase access to health insurance without increasing our deficits.

I appreciate your offer and stand ready to meet at your convenience.

September 16, 2009 10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How stupid are you?!?!?! He's the President of the United States. He's not going to waste his time doing that -- I'm sure he'd discuss any aspect of the bill in a public forum, or negotiate through representatives, but you're a flaming idiot if you are so gullible you think he's going to let some disruptive uncivil Republicans take up his personal time.

Hahahahaha, you are something!

September 16, 2009 10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, then why did Obama promise that he'd meet with ANYONE in Congress who wanted to meet with him? If you're right, then we have to conclude that Obama just lied?

September 16, 2009 11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is part of a CBS piece about Obama's promise:

Could President Obama possibly deliver on the invitation he made at a Town Hall Meeting on health care today?

He didn't just offer to answer any questions that members of Congress might have about the health care legislation.

"If they want to come over to the White House," he said, "and go over line-by-line what's going on, I will be happy to do that."

At the end of the CBS article, it notes:

If it was a promise, the president may regret it. And at the same town meeting he boasted, "I've been keeping my promises since I got into office."

September 16, 2009 11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You moron, it's like if somebody said, "Hey, how are you?" and you said "Fine" and you weren't fine. You'd be lying. Don't be an idiot, he's the President of the United States, he's not going to spend his day trying to talk down to the level of Republicans.

Sorry, I was joking about the "don't be an idiot" part.

September 16, 2009 11:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe Wilson was right

he's a liar

another lie is that republicans are leading the fight against the healthcare bill

there are many Democrats doing the same

"The major new health-care overhaul bill that landed in the Senate on Wednesday sets the lines for a fall showdown over taxes, spending and coverage for millions of Americans.

After months of wrangling, a health-care reform proposal -- minus a public option -- has been released.

The bill, by Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the Finance Committee, breaks a logjam and is likely to form the core of a bill in the full Senate.

Republicans denounced the bill as a big-government boondoggle, and it drew fire from the left as well.

Labor unions slammed it as too harsh on middle-income Americans, who would have to pay up to $3,800 in penalties if they failed to buy insurance.

The White House responded coolly. "I don't think this is a mirror of what the president was talking about," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said, stressing that Mr. Obama's primary focus is affordability of insurance.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said the bill would impose new tax burdens on families and small businesses. "Only in Washington would anyone think that makes sense," he said.

Republican reaction to the Baucus bill showed the senator had failed so far in his main objective from the beginning -- to gain significant bipartisan support.

None of the three Republicans with whom he has negotiated endorsed his bill, although one of them, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R., Maine), showed willingness to consider it.

The "chairman's legislation moves in the right direction, away from a government-run system," Ms. Snowe said. But she stressed "a number of issues still need to be addressed." She pointed to affordability of insurance, among other things.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents three million businesses, said it was concerned that the new taxes on industry were too extensive and that new subsidies to help people buy insurance would ultimately cost taxpayers. "Overall, the bill still needs tremendous improvement," said Bruce Josten, an executive vice president for the group.

Liberals said the penalties in the Baucus bill on Americans who refuse to buy health insurance represent an unfair burden on people who make too much to qualify for help complying with the mandate to buy insurance,

Sens. John D. Rockefeller IV (D., W.V.) and Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) went to the White House Wednesday for private consultations with the president and expressed concern about the issue. "I'm going to do everything I can to fix the bill," Mr. Wyden said.

The Baucus bill proposes to restrict the rate of growth in certain Medicare spending. The bill would trim payments to private insurers who cover some people over 65 in so-called Medicare Advantage programs. It would also reduce Medicare reimbursements for some services such as home-health care and medical imaging. The payment changes would hit older people.

The bill also includes new taxes. The biggest measure would raise $215 billion over 10 years with a 35% excise tax on some insurance plans which would be passed on to consumers.

Insurers, drug makers, medical-device makers and clinical laboratories would all pay new annual fees based on market share. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated those would bring in $93 billion over a decade."

Obama's thinking: why did i ever start this?

September 16, 2009 11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mary Travers died earlier today.

Now's the time for your tears.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UKvpONl3No&feature=player_embedded

September 16, 2009 11:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, do you know how dumb that is? Why does the President of the United States have to read the whole bill out loud to some guy, and tell him what it means? It's a lie like it was a lie when you told your kids Santa Claus was coming, you're a big fat liar too.

Let's see a President tell the country they under danger of immediate attack by a third world dictator with weapons of mass destruction -- THAT would be a lie.

September 17, 2009 6:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"do you know how dumb that is? Why does the President of the United States have to read the whole bill out loud to some guy, and tell him what it means?"

because he said he would

Obama needs to apologize to all Americans for his incessant lying

and apologize to Joe Wilson

September 17, 2009 7:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This Roe/Obama issue is not a "how-are-you-this-is-fine" type of scenario. If the president had blithely said that he invites anyone in the country to meet with him, then I would buy your argument.

However, Obama SPECIFICALLY invited any of the LIMITED number of Congressman who will be VOTING on the legislation and who WRITE the legislation to meet with him.

Roe says that the White House has not responded to his requests at all -- not even to say that they're thinking about his request.

And here time rushes on toward a vote on the healthcare bill.

September 17, 2009 8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon,did you realize there are serious policy decision to be made by the President? There is a war, there is an economy, an environment to manage, you are an idiot to think it's important that he told the Republicans he'd give them a pony and then didn't.

September 17, 2009 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That begs the question, then...why did Obama make the offer?

Did he just want to look good in front of the American public, knowing full well that he wouldn't honor his promise? Did he just want his supporters to think that he was willing to talk to the Republicans, but secretly has absolutely no interest in it?

Obama should have the guts to simply say he doesn't care what his opponents say. As it is, he's speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

This is called lying.

September 17, 2009 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, Anon, it's nothing. Telling the nation that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction that can reach our country in forty five minutes is lying. This is politics.

You apparently have no idea how stupid you sound, you're like, Mommy mommy, he's making faces at me!

Get over it. Your side lost. He doesn't need to talk to them if he doesn't want to.

September 17, 2009 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Well, Sybil, I see you left out the most relevant part of the CBS article about Obama's "promise." House and Senate members seeking to indefinitely delay passage of the health care measure, could tie Mr. Obama up for months if not years, going over the bill line-by-line.

It's become abundantly clear to everyone over the months that all the GOP wants to do is delay the inevitable.

No amount of compromise with the GOP does any bit of good because the GOP does not want health care reform, they want to prevent health care reform. They love the status quo with people dying and losing their homes over uncovered medical needs, even though the Archbishop of Washington has said, "...Universal coverage should be universal, including everyone. Health care reform cannot leave people out because of pre-existing conditions, chronic illnesses, their place of work or because they cannot afford insurance. Reform should not leave people out because of where they come from or when they arrived here..."

Rather than heeding these words, the GOP managed to get Baucus to form his "Gang of Six" to work on a "bipartisan bill." Yet we learn that not one of the three GOP members has expressed support for the bill Baucus offered yesterday. Small wonder. In spite of the WaPo's front page article singing it's praises, I don't think many Democrats will be supporting Baucus' bill either.

Wendell Potter, former Cigna executive who has been telling the public about the insider workings at Cigna, said "..."The Baucus framework is just an absolute joke," said Potter, Cigna’s former head of corporate communications who has been speaking out against insurance industry practices. "It is an absolute gift to the industry."..."

Trying to write and pass health care legislation reform with the GOP, who wants to stop health care legislation reform in its tracks, is a bad joke and a total waste of time.

It's time for the Democrats to follow Obama's lead. Ignore the stalling tactics of the GOP and pass this bill.

September 17, 2009 9:30 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Going back a day or two:

well, based on what you were saying last November, by now, we'd have Barry on Mount Rushmore and be amending the Constitution to make him ruler for life

It's always the same old song and dance with you, Anon. Stop trying to put words in my mouth. You'll find no Mt. Rushmore prediction from me last fall. But I might have said something like "Oh goodie! We have a Democratic President and the Democratic control of both houses of Congress! Democrats will enact the changes we elected them to enact. Yes we can and yes we will!"

Majorities in both parties (Democrat and Republican) voted for the Civil Rights Act.

There's a block of elected Republican Southerners that's trying to derail health care reform just like back in the 60's there was a block of elected Democratic Southerners that tried to block civil rights reform. Decades of the GOP's successful use of the Southern Strategy to win elections has replaced Southern Democrats with Southern Republicans, and the GOP has gained a strong foothold in the South as they've lost seats in other areas of the country, most notably the Northeast.

The GOP has gone back to the sixties while the Democrats have moved on to the new millennium, electing the first African American President (granted, with some GOP votes).

In the 60's, there was much opposition in Southern states to ending discrimination against African Americans and a contentious battle on the Hill, just like the battle today, except the numbers were different. Because there were enough of them then, opposing forces used the filibuster in the Senate to try to stop the civil rights bill from becoming law.

On June 10,1964, after an impassioned plea by Dirksen on behalf of the compromise bill, the Senate voted 71 to 29 to close off the civil rights filibuster. Every member of the Senate was present for the vote, including Senator Engle of California who had suffered a stroke and could not speak but pointed to his eye as a sign of his "aye" vote. The margin was four votes larger than the 67 required. It ended 57 days of debate, the longest debate since the cloture rule had been adopted in 1917.

That was a hard battle, but the forces of moral justice prevailed, just as they will in this battle.

It seems there are not enough elected members in opposition to health care reform for the filibuster to be invoked to try to stop this bill as it had been in the 60s.

I'm curious. What do our resident Catholics, Theresa and Orin think about the Archbishop's comments on health care reform? Why are you both willing to oppose your church on this issue?

September 17, 2009 9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No amount of compromise with the GOP does any bit of good because the GOP does not want health care reform,"

Actually, the bigger obstacle are the Democrats.

They have the numbers but can't agree among themselves.

Medicare is bankrupt. The idea that, essentially, expanding it to all Americans won't triple the situation is ridiculous.

Americans not born yesterday know this.

"Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus finally unveiled his health-care plan yesterday to a chorus of bipartisan jeers. The reaction is surprising given that President Obama all but endorsed the outlines of the Baucus plan last week. But the hoots are only going to grow louder as more people read what he's actually proposing.

The headline is that Mr. Baucus has dropped the unpopular "public option," but this is a political offering without much policy difference. His plan remains a public option by other means, imposing vast new national insurance regulation, huge new subsidies to pay for the higher insurance costs this regulation will require and all financed by new taxes and penalties on businesses, individuals and health-care providers. Other than that, Hippocrates, the plan does no harm.

The Baucus-Obama plan would increase the cost of insurance and then force people to buy it, requiring subsidies. Those subsidies would be paid for by taxes that make health care and thus insurance even more expensive, requiring even more subsidies and still higher taxes. It's a recipe to ruin health care and bankrupt the country, and that's even before liberal Democrats see Mr. Baucus and raise him, and then attempt to ram it all through the Senate."

for some concrete details with numbers:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204518504574416930475823324.html

September 17, 2009 10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

btw, Obama's brief uptick in the polls last week is over

both Gallup and Ramussen have his approval rating down three points from the numbers they had last weekend

"all glory is fleeting"

who said that?

September 17, 2009 10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you did, oh, sage of all-time sages! Unfortunately your glory here fled a long time ago...so it's time for you to leave and develop your own blog site for all of your fellow moaners, groaners, and incurable pessimists.

September 17, 2009 11:53 AM  
Blogger Emproph said...

“he gave me five senses”

Clever.

“Well, Sybil”

Thank you!

September 17, 2009 12:23 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Medicare is bankrupt...

for some concrete details with numbers:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204518504574416930475823324.html


The WSJ Opinion piece seems to say all that bipartisan input from the "Gang of Six" resulted in a bad plan. No surprise there. The GOP wants to let Medicare go bankrupt as predicted in 2018 or so instead of trying to save it. They are deadset against expanding it and trying to save it.

In fact, the GOP never wanted Medicare in the first place and have been trying to kill it since its inception. Well mostly: See Forbes.com, "The Party of Medicare". Without medicare, many of our seniors would be in the hands of the same private insurers that left seniors without coverage, and which made Medicare necessary in the first place.

September 17, 2009 1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the WSJ piece fleshes out the financial stress this bill would place on middle class Americans

"the GOP never wanted Medicare in the first place and have been trying to kill it since its inception"

our most recent GOP President pushed through the largest increase in Medicare since its inception

right, anon-b?

"Without medicare, many of our seniors would be in the hands of the same private insurers that left seniors without coverage, and which made Medicare necessary in the first place."

and so, cutting Medicare by 500 billion will solve all the problems but the Dems won't say where the cuts are coming from

right now, 28% of Medicare recipients have to have private insurance supplement the things that Medicare doesn't cover and this bill cuts the government contribution to that so senior citizens will suffer

September 17, 2009 2:35 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

our most recent GOP President pushed through the largest increase in Medicare since its inception

Golly Anon! If it wasn't too much work for you to click on the Forbes.com link I provided above and go read the article, you'd know Forbes.com reported exactly that. Here's let me cut and paste that that part of it for Vigilance readers:

"...in 2003, George W. Bush reversed the longstanding Republican opposition to Medicare--most Republicans in Congress voted against it in 1965--and supported a vast expansion of the program even though its trustees were forecasting an imminent and rapid deterioration of its finances.

Bush desperately wanted to get reelected in 2004 and was willing to throw every Republican principle under the bus to achieve it. He saw that there was broad support among the elderly for a new Medicare program that would pay for their prescription drugs on top of all their hospitalization and doctors' visits. So Bush backed the drug program in hopes of buying their votes, which would ensure himself another term in office. (It probably didn't make any difference; according to exit polls Bush got exactly the same 52% of the over-65 vote in 2004 as he got in 2000.)

But Bush didn't just support the Medicare drug benefit; he used all of the power of his office to get it enacted. As I document in my Impostor book, the administration repeatedly lied about the cost of the program and put enormous pressure on conservatives in the House of Representatives to abandon their principles and back a massive, unfunded give-away to the elderly.

Republican congressional leaders were just as bad. On the eve of the final vote, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich warned Republicans against opposing it. "Obstructionist conservatives can always find reasons to vote no," he wrote in The Wall Street Journal, "but that path leads right back into the minority, and it would be a minority status they would deserve."

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay put so much pressure on Congressman Nick Smith of Michigan that the House Ethics Committee later admonished him for his actions, which came very close to bribery. DeLay also held the vote open for almost three hours in the middle of the night while arms were twisted to get the drug benefit passed. (Votes are normally 15 minutes.)

In the end, DeLay was successful in getting six conservatives to switch their votes from nay to yea and achieve victory; all but 25 House Republicans supported the creation of a vast new entitlement program that will cost taxpayers almost as much as Barack Obama's stimulus package over the next decade: $727 billion in general revenue contributions for the drug benefit versus $787 billion for the stimulus.

The final step in the Republicans' transformation into the party of Medicare came this year. In their desperation to defeat Obama's health reform, they shamelessly frightened the elderly with false claims that the legislation would have them all euthanized. Republicans also repeatedly emphasize the fact that much of the financing for Obama's plan would come from cuts in Medicare--payback for the Democrats' attacks on them back in 1995..."

September 17, 2009 4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Obstructionist conservatives can always find reasons to vote no," he wrote in The Wall Street Journal, "but that path leads right back into the minority, and it would be a minority status they would deserve."

Hahaha

September 17, 2009 4:52 PM  
Anonymous whippersnapper said...

so, Bush and the Republicans vastly expanded Medicare for senior citizens

what's the complaint?

"a vast new entitlement program that will cost taxpayers almost as much as Barack Obama's stimulus package over the next decade: $727 billion in general revenue contributions for the drug benefit versus $787 billion for the stimulus"

so, the new entitlement for senior will cost one-tenth of Obama's stimulus plan

so what?

"The final step in the Republicans' transformation into the party of Medicare came this year. In their desperation to defeat Obama's health reform, they shamelessly frightened the elderly with false claims that the legislation would have them all euthanized. Republicans also repeatedly emphasize the fact that much of the financing for Obama's plan would come from cuts in Medicare--payback for the Democrats' attacks on them back in 1995...""

Senior citizens are now taken care of in our country, thanks in large part to George W and Co.

Democrats want to cut back on programs for the elderly by humdreds of billions to pay for a new entitlement for young people.

There's no way that's in the best interest of elderly people.

What's wrong with alerting them to this situation?

"Hahaha"

laugh it up, funny boy

Democrats have a history of losing power in the election after they gain it

looks like history is repeating itself

September 17, 2009 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

so, Bush and the Republicans vastly expanded Medicare for senior citizens

what's the complaint?


I see reading comprehension is still a problem.

Per Forbes.com, there were several complaints with Bush's expansion of Medicare, including:

1. Bush supported a vast expansion of the program even though its trustees were forecasting an imminent and rapid deterioration of its finances.

2. Bush desperately wanted to get reelected in 2004 and was willing to throw every Republican principle under the bus to achieve it.

3. the administration repeatedly lied about the cost of the program

4. it was a massive, **unfunded** give-away to the elderly.

5. DeLay held the vote open for almost three hours in the middle of the night while arms were twisted


"a vast new entitlement program that will cost taxpayers almost as much as Barack Obama's stimulus package over the next decade: $727 billion in general revenue contributions for the drug benefit versus $787 billion for the stimulus"

so, the new entitlement for senior will cost one-tenth of Obama's stimulus plan

so what?


$727 billion is *not* "one-tenth" of $787 billion.

September 18, 2009 9:03 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home