Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from the LA Times

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Americans' verdict: Obama's healthcare debate was not really about their health at all

March 23, 2010 |  2:44 am

Democrat p[resident Barack Obama wants you to like his healthcare bill

Some fascinating, at times seemingly contradictory and ultimately revealing, poll results about the healthcare bill warfare from the helpful folks over at CBS News in recent hours.

Displaying, but more importantly documenting, what some might call a keen grasp of the obvious, a substantial majority of Americans has now decided that the yearlong, interminably-documented, mind-numbing, bone-cracking arm-wrestling among Democrats and also between the two political parties really had very little to do with anything having to do with actual healthcare.

Or with the combatants' oft-professed and by-golly-heartfelt concern with the physical well-being of constituents, bless their hearts.

In fact, most Americans have decided, after all these months, it was really more about politics than anything else all along. BINGO!

Sixty-one percent of Americans, CBS reports, think the Republicans were fighting about....

...healthcare for political reasons while 57% have the same thought about those Democrats.

Despite all the concerned yada-yada about millions of uninsured Americans and evil insurance companies looking to make money and sadly ill people billed for larger premiums because of their larger medical expenses, only 35% of Americans think the Democrats were really fighting about good policy and only 29% feel that way about Republicans.

In other words, Sherlock, healthcare has been, is and will remain a surrogate issue in the never-ending fight for national political control. And those earnest, vocal soldiers on both sides of the noisy struggle were merely chanting pawns. And it's not bad for raising money either.

Sixty percent of Americans disapprove of congressional Democrats' handling of healthcare, and 64% disapprove of the minority GOP's work in the same area, whatever that was. But, Watson, since Americans sent so many more Democrats to Congress back in 2008 (and 2006 too, come to think of it), the donkey party stands to lose far more in November's midterm elections than the elephant one.

Change to believe in and all that puede stuff being on the right foot this time around.

The good news for Democratic congressional leaders is that, believe it or not, many Americans do not feel they yet know enough about Nancy Pelosi (36%) or Harry Reid (50%) to have an opinion. No joke!

No one knows exactly where these people have been for four years, and this poll outcome does not augur well for the next job evaluation of the PR folks in those politicians' offices.

Now, as for those Americans who've been paying attention, that's the bad news for Democrats: 8% think favorably of Harry and 11% like Nancy. About three times as many (23% for the Nevada senator and fully 37% for the San Francisco grandma with the large gavel) really don't like them.

Now, the good news for the Smoker-in-Chief: Although most Americans know that Obama's healthcare bill is more about politics than stethoscopes (not to mention a gazillion dollars) and although his approval ratings have plummeted from 70+% to 50-% from Inauguration Day, CBS finds that 55% think passing the political bill is still somehow an accomplishment of some sort.

Congratulations, you've just won a free car wash on the next rainy day. Plus, can you imagine the presidential political obituaries if the community organizer had lost this one?

Speaking of politics and Obama's ongoing inability/unwillingness to change the harsh political tone of Washington (see photo above), eight of 10 Republicans think the ex-state senator is doing a crummy job while eight of 10 Democrats think the real good talker is doing swell.

If you wonder how thousands of Ticket readers cast their own votes on Obama's healthcare bill in recent days, check out the results over here.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Click here for Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item all day every day. Or follow us @latimestot. You can also go to our new Facebook FAN page here.

Photo: Associated Press (file).

Comments 

Advertisement










Video