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Poll: Republicans More Knowledgeable Than Dems on the Public Option

Morgen on December 7, 2009 at 8:01 pm

60 Minutes and Vanity Fair published the results of a nationwide survey late last month. Included among the results was this gem:

In the HEALTH-CARE DEBATE, there’s been much back-and-forth over the so-called public option. Could you confidently explain what exactly the public option is to someone who didn’t know?

Bruce Kasman, chief economist at JPMorgan Chase
Philipp Baertschi, chief equity strategist at Bank Sarasi
Patrick Newport, economist with IHS Global Insight
David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff & Associates Inc. At risk?
A: Definitely.
Richard Lacaille, chief investment officer at State Street Global Advisors"chances of a double-dip in the US have increased"08-15-11
Komal Sri-Kumar, chief global strategist at TCW Group Inc."The economy is in recession as of this quarter"
Guy LeBas, chief fixed-income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC"very substantial chance"08-10-11
Robert Reich

This is really not a surprise as Republicans generally poll as better informed than Democrats across a range of issues – see this recent Pew Research poll for example. However, considering that government-run healthcare has been the holy grail of liberals for decades, you’d think a few more of them would actually know what it is when they see it.

If nothing else these results demonstrate the success of conservatives in mobilizing against ObamaCare in general and the public option in particular. Thanks in no small part to our blog and some loose-lipped liberals, conservatives began spreading the word on what the public option was all about all the way back in April. And Republicans across the ideological spectrum have been united in opposition since. Conversely, the Democrat base was divided and deflated from the outset, with most liberals long preferring a pure single payer solution, and only reluctantly supporting the idea of a “robust” public option on the premise that it was the most politically viable way to transition to the system they really wanted. 

As John reported earlier, the public option is very close to flat-lining in the Senate, and it will take a sellout of epic proportions for hardcore liberals in the House and Senate to buy into whatever the ultimate compromise is. It’s setting up – dare I say it – a “win-win” situation for Republicans in the election next year, as even if ObamaCare passes the Democratic base will be extremely disheartened. Meanwhile, conservatives will be looking to repeat the results of 1994, with the possibility of rolling back the worst elements of ObamaCare as a primary motivator.

Personally, I think this quagmire is a fitting end for an Administration that has centered an attempt to upend the entire healthcare system around a transparent deception. And the President has only himself to blame as rather than staking out a clear position on the public option one way or another, he empowered his liberal base to continue agitating for it through his continual equivocations over the past few months. With the success of his entire Presidency at stake, he tried to vote present.

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Category: Health & Education, Politics |

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