Free Markets, Free People

This Is Why Obama’s Health Care Support Continues To Erode

Along with his credibility.  When the House bill on health care (H 3200) came out, anyone who read the bill, to include Republicans, noted that it planned to pay for much of what was offered through Medicare cuts. And, in speeches and talks following that, President Obama said that he wanted to “end subsidies” to Medicare Advantage, a Medicare supplemental program very popular with those using Medicare (because it covers what Medicare doesn’t).

Even the CBO has come out, as noted yesterday, and said what President Obama is talking about when it comes to Medicare will cut the level of benefits for Medicare users.

Be that as it may, and as he has in many things, he claims everyone else is wrong, he’s right and those disagreeing with him are simply doing it for political purposes. In talking points distributed by the White House today, they say:

Talking Points: Republicans’ Disingenuous Scare Tactics on Medicare

• Recently, as part of an ongoing effort to revive their political fortunes by killing health insurance reform, many Republicans have been attempting to scare America’s seniors with false myths about what reform would mean for Medicare.

• These distortions and outright falsehoods would be offensive under any circumstances, but they’re especially disingenuous coming from a group who has a long history of opposing Medicare and who very recently tried to kill the program as we know it.

• Just this past April, nearly four-fifths of Republican House members voted to end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher program that provides a fixed sum of money to buy private insurance.

• And this most recent assault on Medicare is just the latest in a war Republicans have been waging on the program for decades.

They also attempt to spin away the CBO finding that benefits will indeed be cut and they further attempt to justify the Medicare Advantage cuts.

But this just isn’t selling to those at whom it’s aimed.

Gallup reports that seniors 65 and older are the demographic with the largest percentage against the reform being offered. By a margin of 10% (42% to 32%) they oppose it.

I think it is pretty safe to say that seniors, at this point, don’t trust the Democrats and certainly aren’t now going to buy into the old “Republicans are using scare tactics” canard. Nor are seniors going to be mollified by claims that Medicare Advantage “overcharges” and therefore should be eliminated.

I’ve talked about the erosion of independent support for the administration and Democrats in general. If the Democrats want to ensure a minority in the Congress in 2010, continue to alienate the seniors as they are presently doing and they’ll get their desire. And that might also mean 2012 won’t be looking so hot for them either.

This is a demographic which knows their issues (especially health care) and votes them. Screw with this program (and yeah it’s ironic that we’re talking about leaving a government program alone, but again, since they don’t have a choice, that says nothing about its quality or efficiency) and you can almost bet the house (pun intended) that 2010 will find a new majority in one of the chambers of Congress.



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9 Responses to This Is Why Obama’s Health Care Support Continues To Erode

  • No fallback plan, save for finger-pointing. No apparent strategy for what to do when the initial plan (point fingers at Republicans) did not work.

    I can understand the unwillingness to embrace bipartisanship by Obama. He has an agenda that was not going to go over well with Republicans, but he also had solid majorities in congress and some political capital to spend after a convincing electoral victory. He had no reason to do more than offer a token gesture of cooperation to the other side, with as many strings attached as he felt he could afford. Well, no reason aside from his claims to be more bipartisan, but to quote Ash, “that’s just pillow talk, baby.”

    It’s his unwillingness or inability to unify his own party that is both surprising and embarrassing. It seems as if the only thing that has been offered to the blue dog Dems is a spot under the bus. Pointing fingers at Republicans doesn’t help blue dog Dems. Disparaging their constituents doesn’t help them, either. Nor does ignoring them, which seems to be the current strategy. Is there something that I’m missing? This is an opportunity that will likely not be available for long, and they’re squandering it. Not that I’m saddened to see it, but I am mystified.

    • Well, Obama did float the idea of dropping the public option. The left went nuts (or rather, they are nuts, and began hysterical yelling), and then Obama pulled back the idea.

      Obama is trapped between the nuts and the blue dogs. He has no idea how to work his way through it, and bring them all together.

  • I keep saying it, yet somehow the talking boobs on the television haven’t listened. Let me say it again:

    ObamaCare℠ ad any chances that the Demmies want to pass anything is DEAD. It is finished. Baucus can do this, and Nancy Shmancy can do that, and Harry “Dimbulb” Reid can do the other thing, but in the end it is dead. Why is it dead? Two reason: the American people don’t want this dead mule, and, second and most important, there are enough Blue Dog Demmies scared enough of voting for it that it will cost them their seats that they would rather it just go away altogether. And no legislation that a major portion of any party opposes, much less with a President of their own party in the White House, will ever pass. that is why immigration reform died under Bush – enough Republicans opposed it. Without them, it was not going anywhere.

    The same thing happens with health care. It has become such a boondoggle, that it is a joke. What is funnier is watching the liberals on television try to push The Clown™ into doing something, anything, to pass something, anything.

    It ain’t gonna work, folks. No matter how many things Demmies to their bills, the GOP and many Blue Doggies will oppose it. You can put a lot of shoeshine polish on a turd, but in the end it is still a turd.

  • The thing is that Medicare should be reformed. But not in any manner the Donkey Party will support.

    The reform should not kick seniors off of Medicare. It needs to be phased in, so younger people can opt out of Medicare with their own system. The problem is, it should have been reformed decades ago (1965 would have been ideal), but the Donkey Party defends it for their own political gain.

    At some point, reform will be required by simple economic reality. At that point, the option of letting seniors stay in the system may not be workable. When is this point going to be reached? Are we past that point, and whistling past the graveyard?

  • Despite all this evidence and a request in writing by 28 GOP senators — and despite the fact the U.S. Senate voted 83-7 on Sept. 14 to block ACORN from bidding for any more federal grant money — “Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is refusing to hold a Senate hearing on ACORN’s activities,” the National Republican Senatorial Committee complained Wednesday.

    Mr. Reid replied additional investigations might distract lawmakers from addressing more important matters, including health care and economic recovery.

    … and they wonder why there is skepticism about funding healthcare, in part, by fighting waste, fraud, and abuse.

  • Yet it appears that the public still trusts Obama more than the Republicans, and he still has wary support:

    • The point is that support of his policies has continued to drop even as Obama and the Democrats have made a determined PR push to generate more support. Even when the NYT/CBS use a badly skewed sample, their numbers show support is slipping.

  • As I note in my own blog today (“The Limits of Rage Politics,”) that poll demonstrates a weakness for the GOP. It’s easy to oppose, any big plan will be full of risks and details that can be used to rile people up. But without an alternative (and all those folks waving papers during Obama’s speech weren’t coalescing around any clear alternative) and a positive message, the impact is fadish and short lived. In some ways the GOP has it easy like the Democrats had it easy during the war — it’s easy to oppose, even if you have internal divisions on what should be done, you can all agree that the President is wrong. Yet in the end it depends on the votes in Congress.