GWU Issues Management

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Healthcare Reform, Likely?

Given our discussion of the Clinton healthcare plan and the presentations by Pat Cleary and Kirk Adams, what conclusions do you draw from the survey research data in the attached story. There's some interesting data. Drill down. Any surprises?

WSJ.com - Americans Lack Confidence In Health Reform, Poll Finds: "A majority of U.S. adults lack confidence in the Bush administration's ability to reform the nation's health-care system, a new Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive health-care poll shows."

13 Comments:

Blogger ajyass said...

Nothing in this poll surprises me.
What I do find interesting though is the disconnect that this poll shows me. From past polls I have seen I know that Americans feel that health care is a top issue for this country. This poll shows that more Americans feel that the Democrats are the ones that can bring change to health care. So why are the Democrats not using this distinction to win elections?

2:07 PM  
Blogger simsima325 said...

I think that this poll shows that Americans are finally looking for more in a President than what Bush provides. Protecting Americans is about more than preventing terrorist attacks. The poll shows a return to the basic issues that American families face daily, ie. health care, education, etc.

"Overall, about 30% of those surveyed say they trust the Bush administration's ability to come up with good policies for improving and reforming the U.S. health-care system."- Strangely similar to the President's approval ratings... hmmmmmmmm.

7:37 PM  
Blogger BlueGirl said...

No real surprises here - it was interesting to see such low confidence numbers for Bush by Republicans. I think you can begin to see discontent within the Republican party as the 2006 election approaches.

Like ajyass, I am also puzzled that the Democrats are not using Bush's poor poll numbers in health care to their advantage.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Wal-Mart Walter III said...

With President Bush’s approval ratings as low as they are and with the recent pr debacles, of course Americans’ confidence in his ability to reform anything will drop. I notice that previous comments talk about how the Democrat Party should use this as an election issue. Hmmmmmm…….I don’t think we should ignore the other interesting statement made by Americans in this study: “But Americans aren't much more confident in Republicans (31%), Democrats (45%) and Sen. Hillary Clinton (41%) to reform the health-care system.” This is consistent with basically what Mr. Cleary and Mr. Kirk stated. They both gave a no confidence vote for both parties to solve this issue anytime soon. American’s don’t have confidence in anyone to solve this! So if Democrats just look at this and come out with the “We’re not Bush on health care!” message, they will surely regret it after the midterms.

5:09 AM  
Blogger RonBurgundy said...

These polls show how little confidence Americans have in anyone to solve their health care problems. They seem to trust Democrats more with the issue, but that is not necesarily a reflection of confidence in Democrats or in the Democrats' ability to solve this problem. I think the more pressing issue, is not only health care itself, but Americans lack of confidnce in anyone to do anything about it. This article demonstrates not only the helplessness Americans feel about the health care issue in the hands of the President, Democrats, and/or Republicans, but how helpless they feel about the issue in general. This issue worries me more than health care reform.

7:28 AM  
Blogger RonBurgundy said...

These polls show how little confidence Americans have in anyone to solve their health care problems. They seem to trust Democrats more with the issue, but that is not necesarily a reflection of confidence in Democrats or in the Democrats' ability to solve this problem. I think the more pressing issue, is not only health care itself, but Americans lack of confidnce in anyone to do anything about it. This article demonstrates not only the helplessness Americans feel about the health care issue in the hands of the President, Democrats, and/or Republicans, but how helpless they feel about the issue in general. This issue worries me more than health care reform.

7:28 AM  
Blogger ABPITT said...

Like many people, I was not really surprised by this poll. While the Democrats numbers may not be spectacularly better the Bush administration's numbers, they do represent potential for future elections. Healthcare will continue to be an important issue to Americans and I have to agree with ajyass in wondering why the Democrats are not captializing on it.

9:23 AM  
Blogger Princeton Dem said...

I have to admit that I was a little surprised that 41 percent of the people in this survey (which has marginally more Republicans than Democrats) still have confidence in Senator Clinton to fix health care. I wonder what the number would have been at the end of President Clinton's term.

I understand and share the frustration that the Democrats don't focus on health care, but the major problem is that there are no "30 second ad" solutions. Yes, health care is an enormous problem in this country. That's a great 10-word platform. But, as President Bartlet once said, "What are the next 10 words?"

Last point - since I know some of us are in the quantitative class now too, it's worth pointing out that this wasn't a probability sample, so we should be careful in concluding too much about the national scene based on this poll alone.

There, I feel like I've done my job as the resident nerd. Carry on.

10:57 AM  
Blogger skeeba said...

Ron Burgundy...with the double-post! Nice.
I found the fact that the absence of confidence in Hilary Clinton to fix the problem was equal that of the Republicans (34% each, first table). I mean, c'mon people, forgive and forget! Let Hilary take a shot with some real power.
Health care, oh, there is so little hope, esp. from any public official. One comment was right on, how do you address H/C in 30 secs.? 30 hours? Hell, we've been taking a wack at it for darn near 30 years! If any of these parties wants to at least deliver something, their strategy should include a tactic of small messages with a tangible deliverable. For example, "America, use electronic health records. It'll drive down costs and allow your to work WITH your physician to keep your life healthy. All of us can do it." Deliverable is EHR's, message is short, together and takes a step in the right direction. If Americans can "get something" each time they hear someone instead of hot-air from blowhards, confidence can rise. Of course, if their bill doesn't go down...everyone is S.O.L.

11:24 AM  
Blogger roscoe p coldchain said...

I don't think that it's surprising that there is little confidence that anyone can improve the situation. There haven't been any big plans or bright ideas thrown out there.

I am not personally aware of what Bush's plans are, and I consider myself somewhat in the loop, so it's also not surprising that at least half of America is unaware of Bush's ideas.

Why would Bush make health care/insurance reform an issue, anyway? The insurance co's are making money and his constituents aren't the ones lacking coverage.

The poll seems to show that Americans are resigned to a broken system. If you can't have faith in Hillary, who can we believe in?

12:42 PM  
Blogger green elephant said...

It's not like anyone has had much success in recent memory with healthcare in general. To expect an unpopular president to poll well on a uniformly low-trust issue would be... unrealistic. Bringing in Pat Cleary's point about whatever national healthcare offer will have to be "rationed", people probably expect this in a way. They know past promises (i.e., Part D) haven't given them a golden ticket. I think it will be industry or "small" business, over public opinion, that pushes the next big measure, and people in turn won't trust it.

3:17 PM  
Blogger SoCal Girl said...

Health care is a huge issue that is not going anywhere for a long time, no matter who the president is. I am glad to see that not many people felt confident that it was a problem that could be tackled by Hilary Clinton though because Im personally getting really sick of all the Hilary for President hype going on right now. That being said, President Bush has been hit with one thing after the other and it is not suprising that with all the administration's constant blows in the media that any poll would show low scores for him. Fortunately health care cannot win an election alone.

3:40 PM  
Blogger Boston Dem said...

At first glance, it would seem like the Democrats sould be using the healthcare issue to their advantage in the 2006 election. With history as their guide however, it would seem that it is best for them to stay away from this issue. Many Dems are still sore from the healthcare defeat during the Clinton administration and they are loathe to take this issue on again. While this is certainly a good isse that they could use against the GOP, it comes with a large risk that it could backfire and that they could be in a weaker position than they currently occupy.

The Dems have an opportunity to exploit the current weaknesses of the Bush presidency which are the war, ethics (Rove, Scooter Libby, Abramoff, Frist, Haliburton, etc.) and econimics (gas prices, weak economy, falling home prices, etc.). These issues, if used against Bush correctly, could create a political "perfect storm" that could sweep the GOP out of the majority and put a Democratic lock on the White House for 2008. What remains to be seen is if the Dems are capable of pulling this off and convincing the American public that they can lead better than the GOP. I am crossing my fingers....

9:38 AM  

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