Washington is preparing for a House “vote” on the current health care plan, but unfortunately Congress isn't listening to the rest of America. Aside from the fact that hardworking citizens won’t appreciate the use of parliamentary gimmicks in the forms of the “Slaughter Rule” and reconciliation, Americans simply don’t like the plan.
Earlier this week the Independent Women’s Voice released a poll that showed in 35 of the most marginal districts, 69% opposed the plan and 29% supported it. The following day, another poll was released by the Anzalone-Liszt Research which was conducted across 92 blue dog districts with the end result still showing that the current plan is not favored with 42% in favor and 52% opposed.
As Thursday rolled around, many Democrats began to say that the momentum was swinging in their favor, but the reality continued to be that the American people are saying the exact opposite. Later that afternoon, a national Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll showed that 55% of respondents were against the current plan. It may well be that the Democrats ram the bill through Congress, but the polling consistently shows they will pay for it in the mid-term elections and beyond.
Furthermore, the Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll shows that the number of people opposed to the plan has grown steadily while support has remained at the same low numbers. Thirty-five percent of those polled support the plan now, compared to 36% last July. The number of opposed has jumped from 47% all the way to 55%. The numbers just don’t support any claim that the American people are in favor of the proposed health care plan.
Worse for the Democrats, the American people recognize trickery when they see it. The dangerous combination of the “Slaughter Rule” and reconciliation to pass the bill is ruffling a lot of feathers in the world of public opinion. Fifty-three percent of those polled in the same Fox News/Opinion Dynamic research poll believe that the Democrats are “changing the rules” to get the bill passed.
All of the numbers add up to a terrible outcome for the incumbent party as election season heats up. The Democrats have spent the year wasting time on a bad bill that the American people recognize as a bad bill and don’t want. Yet, the rules get ignored and such a bill may get forced through Congress and into law in a simply bizarre matter. The sad part is that Americans do want real health care reform and even agree on many issues -- such as coverage for pre-existing conditions. They just don’t want the two thousand plus page bill that is poorly constructed and not paid for that is making its way through Congress and to our doorstep.
One final number to look at is another Fox News/Opinion Dynamic poll released Friday afternoon. The question asked in the poll was whether to keep or remove all incumbents. A staggering 68% of respondents declared they would oust all incumbents if they could. As the hours are counting down the whips are counting the votes in the House, but who is counting the votes outside the Beltway? Washington beware, those votes come in November.
Doug Schoen is a Democratic pollster, author and Fox News contributor.