Diary

Plutonium 244 for Health Care Reform: Don't Touch my Health Plan

Amy Walter, in the National Journal did a great job of zeroing in on the politically relevant bottom line on health care reform polling data to date:

Even so, a consistent theme is clear: Americans know that the system is broken and would like to see it fixed. But the more a potential fix affects them personally, the less interested they are in supporting it.

Mimicking the national interest groups, who are happy to talk about the need for health care reform and sit around a table and discuss the best way to reform health care, when the bottom lines turns to their interests, their backs stiffen and they push away from the table:

when asked if they’d be willing to pay more in taxes, either on their current health care plan or in general, respondents quickly pull back. Just 33 percent agreed with the idea of taxing health care benefits for those with “generous” plans. The Diageo/Hotline poll found just 26 percent of voters supported a tax on health care plans. And a Kaiser poll reported that only 41 percent of Americans were willing to pay more either in taxes or health care premiums to cover the uninsured.

A CNN/Opinion Research survey and a poll taken for the Republican group Resurgent Republic both asked the question on taxes this way: “Would you prefer a health care reform plan that raises taxes in order to provide health insurance to all Americans, or a plan that does not provide health insurance to all Americans but keeps taxes at current levels?”

CNN’s poll, conducted in mid-May, found the public split between the two at 47 percent. The Resurgent poll, released on Monday, showed stronger opposition to tax increases (39 percent) and more support for keeping taxes at the current levels (52 percent). Still, both suggest raising taxes to pay for health reform is not a popular position.

Is health care reform the political equivalent of a nuclear waste dump: not in my backyard?

Which brings us back to the main issue that has tied the shoelaces of many a health plan, the details.