Monday, March 22, 2010

A health care bump for Obama?

Last night's health care vote was a great victory for Barack Obama but I wouldn't expect much, if any, of a bounce in his approval rating.

That's because on our last national survey 93% of the voters who disapproved of Obama said they were opposed to his health care plan with only 3% in support. So it doesn't seem all that likely that his getting a bill passed that they oppose would now make them like him.

Beyond that the small segment of voters who said they were undecided on Obama's job performance expressed opposition to the health care plan by a 45/24 margin.

Of course the real deal with health care is that if Democrats were just worried about the next election or if Obama was just worried about his approval numbers, they would have never messed with it. The bill is likely to have short term consequences for the party, and it's impossible to say whether those will be offset by long term gains or not. But Obama and Congressional Democrats were willing to do something unpopular because they thought it was the right thing to do.

6 comments:

Dave said...

George W. Bush repeatedly had the courage to do unpopular things. Most of those decisions didn't work out well for him. A small percentage of people will see any change in their insurance before November. The benefits for most people won't really go into effect until after Obama runs for re-election.

Johnson lost 48 seats in 1966. The Democrats never got a bump for The Great Society because America doesn't reward at the polls things that happen slowly over time.

Randy said...

In the days leading up to the health care, the tracking polls showed a surge in approval for Obama. Rasmussen had his approval index of -21 a few days ago, now its at -12. Gallup Had Obama at 46-48 in approval a few days ago, it soared to 50-43 yesterday. This was all before the health care vote. I wonder what made those numbers jump so much.

Wellescent Healthcare Politics said...

The Democrats will have to move on to other pressing issues and sell the benefits that roll out from health care a little later in order to improve their numbers at the polls. Only if they can work on the economy with some haste, will they see some gains.

Bonncaruso said...

Dave is incorrect. Many things do kick in before the midterms (from electoralvote.com:

* Insurance companies will be forbidden from denying coverage to sick children

* Adult children can stay on their parents' policies until they are 26

* Small businesses will receive tax credits to help them buy insurance for their employees

* All new policies will be required to cover preventive care, including annual physical exams

* The practice of dropping insured people when they get sick will be banned

* A high-risk pool will be created to subsidize adults with pre-existing conditions

* For seniors, some medicines will become cheaper and the donut hole will be reduced somewhat.

All of these points will have an immediate and lasting effect, but points no. 1 and no. 5 will certainly find massive immediate positive resonance.

That being sad, the party in power usually loses seats in midterm I and in the case of a re-election, midterm II.

Bryan said...

All well and good. But is any of that benefit enough to keep the hated mandate? The Dems have been writing off the GOP since the Great Depression. Republicans adopt, they say they're for their popular parts of the program, and campaign against the rest, i.e., the mandate and the general sense by the public that this a trillion dollars and it's still not universal.

limo hire said...

It such a wow victory for President Obama..and his health care reform..

But the fight of the reform is not over yet.

 
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