Washington may be celebrating having miraculously passed a bill that’s been a year in the making, but the majority of Americans are still not happy about the reforms. A CNN/Opinion Research poll conducted Sunday night before the House voted showed 59% of respondents opposed the bill, and 56% believed the bill gave the federal government too much power. But before you bring out the Lipton bags, there is a catch.
While the right will be eager to flaunt this statistic to their advantage (Michele Bachmann already drafted a bill to repeal the one passed last night), not everyone agrees on why the bill isn’t worth it. In fact, around 20% of Americans who oppose the legislation think the bill is not liberal enough, meaning the near 60% drops to 43% when excluding liberals who are upset about the lack of a public option, among other things. Assuming liberals prefer further government oversight, though, it seems to be contradictory that the percentage of people who think the bill gives the government too much power only drops three percentage points.
It also conflicts with the 62% of Americans who believe the bill will increase their personal health care expenses, though one could argue that this is because studies have shown many Americans perceive their financial situation to be better than it actually is.
With the exception of the fact that a fifth of the people who oppose health care are doing so from the left, the poll is precisely the statistic conservatives need to reinforce their “shoving it down our throats” rallying call and, if not pull off the impossible and defeat the already-passed bill, at least gain some major ground in November. Their main problem would be convincing the public now incensed about it to be united in why they hate it, however, rather than focusing on their differences and slowly learning to love it. The disapproval from both sides is a problem the original government-run health care program, Medicare, didn’t have a problem with in Congress, though some already comparing health care reform to the civil rights movement may point out the high demand for gradual implementation that garnered in its day.
[Photo via Portland Mercury]
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