Tales from the Trail

As GOP regroups on healthcare, new poll questions its priority

January 14, 2011

USA-HEALTHCARE/The new House Republican majority may be about to do what President Barack Obama did a year ago — assign the top priority to healthcare at a time when Americans really really want action on the economy and jobs.

That’s what a new Gallup poll suggests. Pollsters found that a clear majority of U.S. adults (52 perecent) think it is “extremely important” for Congress and Obama to focus on the economy in the new year. Next in importance come unemployment (47 percent), the federal budget deficit (44 percent), and government corruption (44 percent).

Healthcare and education are tied at 40 percent. But when Gallup looked more broadly at what people said USA/were either “extremely important” or ”very important,” education edged ahead of healthcare.

That seems ironic. Republicans, fresh from their electoral sweep in November, have made a vote to repeal Obama’s healthcare reform their first act in the House because, they say, it’s what the People want. They say that knowing the move will likely be a dead letter, given Democratic opposition in the Senate and the threat of an Obama veto.

More ironic is that Gallup’s Jan. 7-9 survey produced results generally in line with what the polling organization found before the November election. 

It’s not as if Republicans are listening only to Republican voters. The data show healthcare to be a higher priority for Democrats (who tend not to want it repealed) than for Republicans, who ranked it behind terrorism as well as the economic and fiscal issues as topics in need of action.

USA-HEALTH/MOBILESo who are Republicans in Congress listening to? Hard to tell.

House Republican are heading to a retreat in Baltimore this weekend. And unlike last year, when they invited Obama and the news media along, Politico reports that press access is being curbed and the president uninvited.

Reuters Photo Credits: Larry Downing (House Republicans); Mike Blake (Unemployment); Brian Snyder (Health Clinic)

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Comments
3 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

The people gave the republicans 10 million FEWER votes 2010 than 2008, and they gave the democrats 30 million fewer votes. So, clearly, 40 million people wanted “none of the above”.

Posted by nossnevs | Report as abusive
 

Anytime I start to feel like the Republicans have something positive to contribute to America, I stop and remember that this is the part of the super rich, big business, and the kings of corporate welfare.

Once upon a time the Democratic party was the party of the working wo/man. Now it is the party of the worker who happens to be aligned with special “special interest groups”.

As nossnews pointed out, so many Americans have woken up to these facts, and want “none of the above”. What I simply don’t understand is why, in this political climate, no viable third party, or independent candidate has emerged.
Perhaps, should anyone, or any entity, be intelligent enough, and politically emphatic enough to fill this vacuum, and offer an alternative, they find that “money talks” volumes, and it just may be that not an American living today can resist the clarion call of one, or the other, of these dominant parties fund raising machines. machines.

Posted by 2pesos | Report as abusive
 

The vast majority of Americans are not on board with the Republican effort, nor should they be — passing repeal means forcing vulnerable seniors to pay thousands of additional out-of-pocket dollars for their medication, allowing insurers to discriminate against children with pre-existing conditions, higher taxes on small businesses, forcing young people off their family’s insurance plans, and making care more expensive for everyone. Even the business community that backs the GOP is making it clear — it doesn’t back repeal.

And what about jobs? Naturally, Republicans have the story backwards. Since the immediate impact of the measure will be to allow 30 million more Americans the chance to buy drugs and medical services from doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, it’s hard to imagine a more effective way to reduce employment in the one sector that is actually adding jobs.

The GOP says it needs to gut America’s health care system in order to create jobs. But were they to succeed, it would cost America jobs. Republicans just have to hope the public isn’t paying any attention to reality at all. Since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, the private sector has added 1.1 million jobs. Roughly a fifth of that total — more than 200,000 — were jobs created in the health care industry.

If health care reform is bad for job creation, how did this happen?

Posted by GetpIaning | Report as abusive
 

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