As Obama calls for Congress is vote this month, reform gains in polls

by: Chris Bowers

Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 14:48


To no one's surprise, today President Obama called on Congress to pass health reform via reconciliation over the next month:

And now it deserves the same kind of up-or-down vote that was cast on welfare reform, the Children's Health Insurance Program, COBRA health coverage for the unemployed, and both Bush tax cuts - all of which had to pass Congress with nothing more than a simple majority.

I have therefore asked leaders in both of Houses of Congress to finish their work and schedule a vote in the next few weeks. From now until then, I will do everything in my power to make the case for reform. And I urge every American who wants this reform to make their voice heard as well.

Earlier today, after a meeting of the Senate Democratic leadership, Tom Harkin had already said the Senate was going to use reconciliation.  Here is the current timeline:

  • Over the next week: Senate proves to House that they have the votes to pass a fix to the health reform bill via reconciliation.  Simultaneously, House leaders whip to find enough votes to pass Senate health reform bill.  Once both conditions have been met, the House will take up the Senate health reform bill and a reconciliation "fix" to that bill.

  • By March 19th: The House passes the Senate health reform bill

  • By March 20th: President Obama signs the Senate health reform bill into law

  • By March 21st: House passes reconciliation bill to "fix" the Senate bill, and send it to the Senate

  • By March 23rd: Senate takes up reconciliation bill.
As this all unfolds, the health reform bill is surprisingly making a comeback in the polls.  While still not very popular, health reform has gained a net of roughly 4% over the past month, moving to only a net negative 7.7% nationally:

The health reform bill is now only 1% less popular on net than when it passed the House back in November.  It is actually more popular than when it passed the Senate.  Further, if current trends hold, a majority of the country won't even oppose it in just a couple more days.

It is unclear what is causing the health reform bill to back a comeback.  The upward rise in polling actually started before the health reform summit.  If I had to just guess, my bet is that Republicans have started to focus on abstract process messaging to their own detriment.  Back when Democrats had to focus on process issues like passing the bill through the Finance Committee, clearing "cloture" three times, making deals to a couple of holdout Senators, and wrangling with various constituency groups, the bill just sounded like an inside job to more Americans.  Now, opponents of the bill our focusing their public messaging on the inside game, and it is hurting them.

Chris Bowers :: As Obama calls for Congress is vote this month, reform gains in polls

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It is unclear what is causing the health reform bill to back a comeback. (4.00 / 6)
Anthem Blue Cross.

Taking odds on the "fix" not passing? (0.00 / 0)
At this point, if it's all going through reconciliation, what's the point of having a bill and a "fix"?  Why not just vote once on a pre-"fixed" bill and be done with it?

Smells fishy to me.


A few things... (4.00 / 1)
One, from my reading, not everything can be passed by reconciliation.    Its much easier to pass it this way, as some aspects would have to pass a filibuster. (Again, this is my understanding, so I would be mistaken.)

Two, rewriting the whole bill will take longer and they want this done.


[ Parent ]
It's not all going through reconciliation. (0.00 / 0)
Only "the fix." The rest of it, most of which would not be allowed under reconciliation rules, already passed the Senate with 60 votes. The house must pass the main Senate bill as is. Only the fix will go through reconciliation. It's the only way to get it done.

miasmo.com

[ Parent ]
Great Post (0.00 / 0)
Look at the numbers from Ramussen:
Rasmussen 1/16-17/10 1000 LV Favor 38, Oppose 56
Rasmussen 2/9-10/10 1000 LV Favor 39 Oppose 58
Rasmussen 2/27-28/10 1000 LV Favor 44, Oppose 52

HCR has gone from 19 to 8 in their polling.  The only other poll in the last week (from Ipsos) looks like this:
Ipsos/McClatchy 2/26-28/10 1076 A Favor, 41 Oppose 47
Ipsos/McClatchy 1/28-31/10 1127 A Favor, 37 Oppose 51

Net 14 to net 6.

Two pollsters show real movement, and there isn't any similar movement in Obama's approval ratings.

Did the summit help?



Intrade has odds on passage at 67% (4.00 / 3)
up 26% just today  

Could the comeback be the left coming home? (4.00 / 5)
Many progressives, myself included, think the bill is not that great - but after thinking it over it really is better than nothing and it can be fixed over time.

I know others like me who have come around on this as well. Perhaps other progressive-liberal folks are coming around to the "let's take this and then fix it" frame of mind.


That seems very likely (0.00 / 0)
Don't have the numbers to prove it, but that is actually a very good thesis.

[ Parent ]
Rasmussen's explanation (4.00 / 2)
"Support has gone up among both Democrats and unaffiliateds since mid-January when Rasmussen Reports suspended weekly tracking of these health care questions after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she did not have the voters to pass the plan."
http://www.rasmussenreports.co...

[ Parent ]
How Is (4.00 / 4)
mandated junk insurance without a public option better than nothing? Sure, they can't deny you if you have a pre-existing condition, but they can quadruple your premiums.
It is NOT better than nothing. It's a neoliberal piece of crap.
Sorry for spouting off, but I hope they kill this bill.

[ Parent ]
Don't count on that.... (4.00 / 3)
I find poison ivy more appealing than what they are doing.  

[ Parent ]
I think stories of 39% to 57% rate hikes (4.00 / 1)
started chipping away at opposition.  I think alot of people know thier insurance sucks but are leery of just what reform might bring but then the avalanche of huge rates hikes have taken thier toll.  That and GOP assholery in general

Regarding comeback in polls (0.00 / 0)
I think it's gotten more popular as it comes closer to success.  People like to root for things that will probably succeed and oppose things that will probably fail.  That's why people are Yankees fans, even though the Yankees suck.

Headlines like "health care bill dead?" make it unpopular.  Headlines like "Obama doubles down on health care" make it popular.


... (0.00 / 0)
I thought people were Yankees fans because the yankees try and buy the title on a yearly basis... and have been quite bad at it over the last decade.

[ Parent ]
Except for the fact that the more the Yankees win the more I hate them (0.00 / 0)
Seriously. And I'm not alone.

[ Parent ]
Nancy Pelosi can hold a bill that has passed at her desk (4.00 / 5)
Only fools and maybe House Democrats would agree to such a time table and this sequence.

Let's assume no bad faith at all.  But the pressure to do reconcilation bursts like a popped balloon once the House passes the Seante bill.  Especially if the bill is first signed before the recooncilation fix is voted on.

The Seante may be full of recalsitrant people sticking to their priveleging, but the House doesn't have to be.  The House fix can be passed before the House passes the Senate bill.  The House can then literally pass the Senate bill th esame time as the Senate passes the fix.  Or the House can pass the Seante bill AFTER it passes the fix and hold both at the Speaker's desk until the Senate passes the Fix.  Obama then just signs them in th eright sequence at the bill signing ceremony

Of course even with good faith efforts on th epart of the Senate, the world turns and things happen.  People get sick, they die...something happens and to the vote in this sequence is just awful and will not achieve one progressive item whatsoever.

By March 19th: The House passes the Senate health reform bill

By March 20th: President Obama signs the Senate health reform bill into law

 

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"
Stoller


A more likely timeline: (4.00 / 4)
  • By March 19th: The House passes the Senate health reform bill
  • By March 20th: President Obama signs the Senate health reform bill into law
  • By March 21st: House passes reconciliation bill to "fix" the Senate bill, and send it to the Senate
  • By March 23rd: Senate ignores reconciliation bill.
  • Nothing more is done on healthcare reform. Establishment democrats proclaim the Senate Bill "A done deal". No one is eager to revisit healthcare in the near future. The insurance companies get a massive payday. Progressives in Congress grumble, but not much more. The base stays home in November. The thugs in the Pig Party pick up lots of new seats, which the media blames on Obama's having gone too far to the left.


It is going up in the polls because (4.00 / 2)
they are giving Obama and Democrats all dressed up in their tough talk of reconciliation more credit than they deserve.  They trusted Clinton to not to screw them with NAFTA, and he did.  They are trusting Obama not to screw them with health care, and he is.  It takes a Democrat to screw a Democrat.  When the mandate kicks in after Obama is gone, just like the impact of all the offshoring kicked in after Clinton was gone, people will remember Obama and Clinton in the same sentence and speak their names in the same tone.  Like Chris Hedges, I am disgusted by these so called Democrats.  



That Chris Hedges Piece (4.00 / 1)
is a must-read.

[ Parent ]
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