Poll Shows Americans Would Like to Have Their Cake and Eat It Too

The Washington Post has a new poll out which will please both political parties, since the American people in the main agree with both of them. A majority of people want Congress to scrap the current Health Care Reform bills, and a majority also think Obama has done a bad job of handling the health care issue. Yet a majority also want Health Care Reform passed this year and blame Republicans for lack of progress.

Solid majorities think that the current HCR bills are too complex and too expensive, but majorities also approve of the main components: require employers to provide insurance, require people without insurance to buy it, subsidize people who can’t afford insurance, and require insurance companies to give everyone insurance regardless of their medical histories or problems. So basically, people would love the bill as is, so long as it didn’t cost anything and wasn’t complex.

And in the results most likely to give legislators pause: People say they’re looking for new candidates of incumbents in the next congressional election by a 56 to 36 majority. 71% of people disapprove of how congress is doing its job. And of the 62% of the population that has private insurance (15% have MediCare, 3% have Medicaid and 17% have no insurance) 74% trust their insurance companies to do a “good” or “great” job of processing their claims fairly.

If people like the idea of health care reform, but don’t want it to cost anything or be complex, while distrusting congress and trusting their insurance companies, it sounds to me like nothing is likely to happen on the health care front this year.

22 Responses to Poll Shows Americans Would Like to Have Their Cake and Eat It Too

  • Over four decades of brain-washing has caused cognitive dissonance and an inability for critical thinking. Oops, sorry I didn’t regurgitate a talking point. I promise not to think anymore and fall the alleged left-right divide.

    If nothing happens on the health care front this year is that an accident or is that by design? Could it be that despite the political class completely ignoring the Constitution and the general populace completely ignorant of the document it might actually still be working and preventing the trans-national elites from completely destroying this country?

    Me thinks the Founding Fathers might be smarter than our history books tell us.

    Shakespeare posited that first we should kill all the lawyers. I disagree, some of those lawyers are my friends. Perhaps we can just exile all the politicos and their financiers to Gitmo and start over from the Constitution, properly amended.

  • Harvey Mansfield is relevant to some of these points, Darwin:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/what-obama-isnt-saying

  • Truly people – regarding human nature, who doesn’t want their cake and eat it too?

    The problem is that our recent presidents and presidential candidates have for many years told the American people that they CAN have their cake and eat it too.

    I can’t remember the last time Mr. Obama has been truthful about the healthcare bill. He ascertains that it won’t cost the American people more but will cover more people and contain no cost control measures that are readily understandable.

    How about pulling a rabbit out of a hat?

    Both common sense and reality dictate that we have not been told the truth. I think that is why there is such a lack of consensus regarding this issue. Who really KNOWS what this bill is truly about? Who wants to both read and study over 2600 pages? Who would trust that.

    You can fool only some of the people some of the time…

    Thank God our founding fathers created a system of power separation, which causes all change to be slow.

  • What Americans (and the rest of Western civilization) will get is:

    No electricity, lighting or heating as our power plants shut down
    No fresh food
    No medicine
    No refridgeration
    No gas for cars, so no car travel
    No nothing.

    50 years of neglect with no investment in cheap clean energy like nuclear – we’re gonna get it right up the whazu! And we deserve it.

  • Given that this polling would seem to suggest the status quo will continue, I would think that Americans will continue to get very much what they’ve got in the past.

  • From a purely materialist perspective America has been getting better and better. We have the fattest most well entertained poor people. The cleanest air and the biggest cars, etc. As for energy and the rest of Paul’s list we will keep getting more of that too. The question is what are we selling to keep material enriching ourselves? Perhaps that price is too big.

    It is just as foolish to think any materialist solution is the answer whether it is altruistic (universal health care) or selfish (monopoly privileges). We are not ordered toward God; however, if I am going to live in an ungodly world for a while I’d rather live in a materially successful country and not an impoverished one.

    Perhaps it is time to give up this idea that government fixes things and makes life better. May be instead of forging new progressive ways of empowering government to do more for or to us. What would happen if we went back to the Ten Commandments, The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, properly amended we may actually be free to reach for higher things.

    God made Creation good and He made us very good. Although sinful, we can participate in his creativity to improve things, as in order them more to Him. Government cannot be creative, it is only coercive.

    Americans are naturally looking for men of virtue to wield the reigns of power and knowing that the most virtuous man is still a sinner we shackle government with the Constitution.

  • Americans are schizophrenic !

  • No I’m not. Me either. ;)

  • Among the more interesting points is that employers should pay for health insurance. Then when the insurance becomes too costly for the employer, he goes under: leaving the former workers without insurance.

    This also affects employment. The attempt to increase the minimum wage law is similar. It makes the hiring of new employees more expensive.

  • I’m sorry the blog post seemed like the old ‘bunny in the hat’ trick, jillions of little baby bunnies just jumping out of that proverbial hat. Which little bunny to attempt to catch first?

    After a year of President Obama’s open discussion with the American people, I’m pretty sure most folks have got to realize a change simply has to happen…
    sky-rocketing costs…spiraling fragmentation of services…increasing levels of disparity among those working or disabled and even those that can afford paying cash (Warren Buffet? Self-pay? Doubt it.)

    In my early professional health care training many years ago, it still seemed debatable whether it was as bad it seemed. Back then, the main focus was ensuring that Social Security funding would last through the time the baby boomers would be eligible. It seems as if we were still quibbling about funding Social Security not that long ago while allowing the snowballing of events that led to the crash, while events were ‘crashing and burning around us’.

    I never in my wildest dreams considered the solution to insufficient funds for retirements would be resolved by perpetuating iniquities in health care; resulting in poor statistics about chronic illness and inadequate prenatal care as evidenced by one of the lower live birth rates due to prematurity compared to other civilized countries.

    The words paint a more vivid picture than simply saying health care reforms has been needed for a long time, and the business stockholders in health care businesses have been the major beneficiaries in the advanced health care available to US taxpayers.

  • Truly people – regarding human nature, who doesn’t want their cake and eat it too?

    The problem is that our recent presidents and presidential candidates have for many years told the American people that they CAN have their cake and eat it too.

    Yes, but the politicians tell us that because that’s what we want. The American people aren’t willing to sacrifice so we elect politicians who tell us that we don’t have to.

    He ascertains that it won’t cost the American people more but will cover more people and contain no cost control measures that are readily understandable.

    I don’t think he’s ever said that it won’t cost more. In fact, he’s been pretty explicit about the fact that he’s going to raise taxes to pay for it.

    The cost control measures aren’t readily understandable because the implications of cost control measures are not easily predictable. That’s why it’s a shotgun approach. Future reform will have to build upon what we learn from these measures.

    Thank God our founding fathers created a system of power separation, which causes all change to be slow.

    We could have a system that requires consensus that isn’t so darn slow. After all, good changes should be made immediately and bad changes never made. The founding fathers had to settle for this highly flawed system because it was too politically difficult to ratify a better one. Would it be so bad if we abolished the Senate and the presidential veto but required a 2/3 majority in the House?

  • “After all, good changes should be made immediately and bad changes never made.”

    Too bad the changes never seem to come with identifying signs on them?

    “Would it be so bad if we abolished the Senate and the presidential veto but required a 2/3 majority in the House?”

    For people who live in less populous states it would be a staggering loss of influence on the Federal government. It would be also another step down the road to treating states as mere provinces rather than co-equal members of the Union.

  • For people who live in less populous states it would be a staggering loss of influence on the Federal government. It would be also another step down the road to treating states as mere provinces rather than co-equal members of the Union.

    So are there any negatives?

  • Only for those who support the framework of our Republic restrainedradical as established by the Founding Fathers.

  • Of course everyone wants to have their cake and eat it too.

    Cut government spending — but only on programs “other people” less worthy than me use (Medicaid, food stamps) and not those I use (student aid/loans)

    Raise taxes if we must — but only on people who make more than I do, or on stuff I never do or never buy (cigarettes, liquor, gambling).

    Get rid of corporate and government waste — as long as it’s not my job that gets cut.

    Stop all pork projects — unless those projects are in my district or my community.

    Soak the rich — but only until I become “rich.”

    Vote all the “bums” out — except for my Congresscritter, legislator, mayor, alderman, etc.

  • What we should do is go back to Senators being representative of the state or commonwealth instead of popular elections. Repeal the 17th.

    The House is supposed to represent the passions of the people and the Senate is supposed to sober those sentiments when made into law. Both are bound by the Constitution.

    When you destroy this, and we have eroded it dramatically in the last 100 years, we are on the road to serfdom. It is called the Tragedy of the Commons. What belongs to all, belongs to none, or sometimes one. As Elaine illustrated, when we vote for largess at the expense of the ‘other guy’ we fall victim to the lie. As Thatcher stated, I am paraphrasing, “the problem with Socialism is eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

    People with an attitude like (notso)restrainedradical will be the ruin of what’s left of the Republic if we allow them to get their way. A Constitutional Republic is a bulwark against tyranny, a Democracy is a sure way toward anarchy followed by absolutism.

    Long live the Republic. In the end the Jedi win and the Empire loses. Darth Obama and his minions will be evicted and sensibility will be restored. Pray, vote, pray!

  • A faulty diagnosis, Darwin.

    A solid minority–and I would include myself in that–aren’t wild about insurance reform as it sits today in Congress because it doesn’t go far enough. The reform–including the president–tacks strongly to the middle, tries to ameliorate insurance companies, who obviously have large profits at risk, and who care little that middle class folks like me rack up four-figure hospital bills for our families as deductibles and premiums rise.

    As for those who favor keeping the status quo, I can’t identify them as pro-market or pro-business. With medical costs going way up, there’s no practical way for comparative shopping and competition. And my employer only offers me one choice of insurer. The GOP has taken “Just Say No” to a new and more ineffective level.

    So all the fears the insurance companies are drumming up: death panels, and the like, are already in place.

    If only we had a third and fourth choice in political parties: more difficult for corporations to spread their money around, more ways to represent the interests of citizens, and a way to ensure that being in last place as a political party was no guarantee of being second. As far as I’m concerned, the Dems are in second-last place in voters’ minds. And if you don’t believe it, consider what the effect of having a ballot line of “none of the above” would do to congressional races this Fall.

  • http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2009/11/30/bisb1130.htm
    Aetna drops 600,000 to boost profit margins–likely those overweight cake eaters….with diabetes.

  • Todd,

    That might explain why people want to throw incumbants out, but it doesn’t show why people are saying they want to vote for Republican congressional candidates at the highest levels since 2002, nor does it explain why people think the current HCR bills are too expensive (more reform would be more expensive, not less) and why they generally rate their insurance companies highly. Clearly, there’s a small core in the progressive camp who think that insurance companies as wicked and out to get people, but overall people who have insurance trust their insurance companies to do a good job much more than they trust congress.

    That may well not be a reasonable attitude for them to have, but it is what the poll shows.

  • I guess we’ll see how it plays out on Election Day instead of in the heads of pundits.

    The last polling I saw had about a 40-40 split between support and oppose, with about 16% thinking insurance reform was too timid. Thirty million-plus adults is hardly a small core.

    I’d have to say I also have confidence in the job my insurance company does: they are efficient; they let me delay payment on many co-pays and on my deductible. They haven’t cut me off yet for being in middle age.

    That’s not to say I don’t think the profit margin for stockholders is too high. I have a basic objection to making profits without working for them.

    I’m no polling expert, but I bet I could come up with some questions that would swing the confidence away from the corporations.

    Nevertheless, I think your title diagnosis is inaccurate. I think Americans want a greater degree of fairness, and frankly, I don’t see any other entity capable of enforcing it other than the federal government. If I thought my city council or state senate or the president of my neighborhood association could stand up to BC/BS, I suppose I’d be for “small guvmint” too.

  • Hmmm. Well, one assumes that the stockholders earned the money which they then invested in stock. For stance, if you have a 401k invested in mutual funds, or participate in a pension, which in turn invests in mutual funds, you may well be a stockholder of one or more insurance company.

    I’m curious: What profit margin do you think that the stockholders are currently getting for major insurance companies? What would be a fair profit margin?

  • DarwinCatholic…like the little bunnies analogy, let’s keep the focus on ensuring a certain level of quality health care is available to everyone (especially the workers in the US economy on Main Street, if they still have their jobs), and not go off on a tangent whether stockholders ‘earned’ their berth in the business? Most, if not all Americans contributing to the tax base have ‘earned’ a certain measure of tangible health benefits, that shouldn’t be doled out dependent on the beneficence of the stockholders of health business companies.

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