Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Have conservatives lost the debate on health care?

Civitas released their October poll today. Click here for results. I will be discussing it over the next couple of days. First I’ll talk about health care. Civitas had a quite a few questions on the subject.

When you think about health care, which of the following is your major concern:
Cost of health insurance 43%
Number of poor w/o insurance 31%
Quality of health care 10%
Access to quality care 6%
Inability to qualify for ins 5%

Do you support a state mandate requiring all health insurance policies to include mental health coverage even if it causes a 5-10% increase in the cost of your insurance?
Yes 59%
No 29%

Do you think Medicare adequately provides health insurance for older Americans?
No 46%
Yes 42%

Should all businesses in North Carolina with more than five employees be required to provide health insurance for their employees?
Yes 57%
No 36%

Do you think the quality of health care you receive in North Carolina is:
Excellent 29%
Good 48%
Fair 17%
Poor 6%

Do you support universal health care coverage where the federal government would insure that every American receives some type of health insurance coverage even if it means an increase in taxes?
Yes 56%
No 36%

At this point in Jack Hawke’s presentation of the survey results during the Civitas luncheon this afternoon, my friend Dallas Woodhouse of Americans for Prosperity blurted out that “the conservatives have lost the debate” on health care. In a lot of ways he’s right. Public opinion is moving towards acceptance of universal health care. But if conservatives have lost the debate they have no one to blame but themselves.

Almost all, if not all, the Democratic Presidential candidates supports some sort of universal health coverage and they talk about it often. Democrats in Congress and at the state level are trying to expand coverage through programs like SCHIPs (more on that later). What are the Republican’s plans for health care? I don’t know. I don’t hear them talk about it. All I hear is “let the free market decide.” Unfortunately for them, the American people have decided that the free market isn’t working in our health care system.

Mitt Romney, as governor of Massachusetts, did implement a universal health care plan in his state. Why doesn’t he talk about that more? That would be a start.

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