This is a rush transcript from "The Journal Editorial Report," August 1, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
PAUL GIGOT, HOST: Coming up next, President Obama continues his health care push and his poll numbers continue to fall as the House and Senate prepare to leave for August recess without a vote. Why is support fading from Obamacare?
From axis of evil to axis of engagement, the administration tries to turn our adversaries into partners. Will it work?
An alarming new study about the high cost of obesity. Can we solve the problem? Can we afford not to?
"The Journal Editorial Report" starts right now.
Welcome to "The Journal Editorial Report." I'm Paul Gigot.
President Obama continued his push this week for a health care overhaul and his poll numbers continue to drop. According to the new Wall Street Journal poll, 41 percent approve of the job the president is doing on health care. This, as the Blue Dog Democrats reached a tentative deal with party liberals, but delayed a vote in the House until September.
Here to tell us where we stand or after another week of wheeling and dealing, Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor, Dan Henninger; assistant editorial page editor, James Freeman, senior editorial page writer, Joe Rago; and Washington columnist, Kim Strassel.
All right, Joe, speaker Nancy Pelosi said this week that the insurance industry was behind this fading support because they've been opposing it. Is that how you see it?
JOE RAGO, SENIOR EDITORIAL PAGE WRITER: Right, well, she accused him of carpet bombing the debate and you have to watch with the willing suspension and disbelief. The Democrats haven't had a better industry friend than the insurance industry throughout this whole thing.
GIGOT: They're quiet. They haven't run any ads, not like 1993. In fact, if you look at the whole landscape of who is for this and who is against it, as I see it, the industry has been very, very quiet. The drug industry has been quiet and the insurance industry has been quiet. How can you blame them? They want a seat at the table, right?
RAGO: Yeah, and the real point of Speaker Pelosi's comments were to sort of win over some of her more liberal members, who are upset with the deal with more moderate members in the House. So, I mean, it's always a good strategy to attack the industry.
GIGOT: All right. Why is this? Why is public support for this falling in?
DAN HENNINGER, COLUMNIST & DEPUTY EDITOR: Well, I think that public support is failing, truly, Paul, because Obama and the Democrats have resented — it moved from a plan to take care of the uninsured to a plan to...
GIGOT: Forty-four million uninsured.
HENNINGER: Forty-four million uninsured — to a plan that is somehow going to cover everybody. And suddenly people are reading about this, oh, it's about me? Actually, I'm pretty happy with my health insurance. And my doctors are pretty good.
GIGOT: Joe, what's the figure on the percentage of the American public who have insurance already? It's about 80, 87 percent?
RAGO: About 87 percent.
GIGOT: Most are happy, if you ask in the polls, do say they are relatively content. They're worried about increasing costs, no question. They're worried about co-pays and those things rising. But generally, they tend to be happy.
What you're saying, again, is because people are saying, oh, maybe my insurance — I'm going to have to pay for this, number one, or maybe my insurance might change in negative ways, that's behind this.