Obama bests Republicans on healthcare reform in public confidence poll
Barack Obama appears to be winning the popularity contest over healthcare reform that’s been playing out in public since his White House summit on Feb. 25.
A new Gallup poll suggests that 49 percent of Americans have confidence in Obama to make the right recommendations.
That’s not a majority. But it’s way higher than the 32 percent who think Republicans in Congress would do the right thing.
The findings appear to contradict Republican claims that the public favors their decentralized, piecemeal approach over Obama’s comprehensive reform plan.
The president also outstrips a 37 percent public confidence rating for congressional Democrats, according to the survey of 992 adults conducted March 2-3. The data have a 4 percentage point margin of error.
That lead over Democrats could be important for the White House as Obama makes his last-ditch effort to prod reluctant party members into going along with his plan to overhaul the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system. Democratic leaders are trying to muster enough party support to bypass Republicans.
Public sentiment still presents a challenge for the president, however.
Gallup says public confidence on healthcare reform runs highest for doctors (77 percent), hospitals (64 percent), and academics who study healthcare policy (61 percent).
That puts Obama fourth, Democrats fifth and Republicans sixth, with pharmaceutical companies (30 percent) and insurance companies (26 percent) bringing up the rear.
Photo Credits: Reuters/Yuri Gripas (Obama); Reuters/Jason Reed (Senators John McCain and Lamar Alexander); Reuters/Hyungwon Kang (Doctor and Young Patient)
Click here for more political coverage from Reuters.