Polling Shows Americans Have a Deep Dislike of ObamaCare's Process, and the Substance

If congressional Democrats think that Americans don’t like the health care bill its leadership has put together, or the process it’s using to push it into law, they’re right. Their leadership is wrong.

A poll conducted this week for the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest-Advance by the Roper organization showed that 65 percent of all Americans regard as unfair the current Democrat proposal to send the Senate health care bill to the president without voting up or down on it.

Democrat leaders are saying that the only thing that matters is passing the bill. From Majority Leader Steny Hoyer:

Do you think any American is going to make the distinction between the process and substance of the bill? I don't think that any American ... any real American out there will make the distinction between the two.

Mr. Hoyer: Americans know the difference between process and substance. And they believe that using the so-called “deeming” process is wrong by a wide margin.

Hoyer only speaks for Democratic leaders when he insists:

In the final analysis what is interesting to the American public is what this bill do for them and their families to make their lives more secure.

But the poll provides no evidence that Democrats will benefit from health care reform once enacted. This claim is based on polling showing broad support for features of the legislation such as insuring people with preexisting conditions and the elimination of caps on coverage limits. But our poll also asked voters about other specific elements of the proposed legislation, and we found that overwhelming majorities opposed key elements:

Eighty percent oppose increasing taxes and cutting Medicare to provide tax breaks and subsidies for people who already have insurance.

Eighty one percent oppose charging healthy and younger people higher premiums to subsidize people who, under the bill, can wait until they are sick to buy insurance.

Nearly 90 percent (87 percent) oppose the creation of Independent Healthcare Payment Advisory Commissions that set limits on future access to care and the authority government will have to determine and what kind of health plans the uninsured can have.

We also asked people about proposals to make health insurance more affordable and approaches to promote better health that are not central elements of the current bill. These include proposals to buy plans that reward healthy behavior, encourage saving and investing for future health needs, and reward future treatments and cures instead of taxing them. Strikingly, voters support these alternatives as strongly as they oppose the main elements of the Democrat health bill.