Brief note. AL-05 congressman Parker Griffith announced his intention to switch from the Democrat to the Republican Party.
This switch will have little effect since he votes like a Republican all the time anyway, and the Democrats will still have a substantial majority in the House.
Health care reform
Support for health care reform is stronger than has been reported. Many of those polled who indicated they do not support the current plan, said so because they feel it does not go far enough.
This memo shows the results of several polls, all graphed with cute graphics that I couldn't copy. So I will describe. You can click on the link to see the graphs.
An Ipsos/McClatchy poll from November showed that 34% support the bill, 35% oppose, saying it goes too far, 12% oppose saying it doesn't go far enough and 20% are unsure. That means that 46% really support it, if it comes down to it.
A CNN poll from November showed that the public strongly supports individual components of the plan. 75% support expanding Medicaid, 73% support a large and mid-size employer mandate, 67 % support income tax (increase) on the wealthy, 76% support subsidies for the middle or lower class, 60% support banning rescissions, and 60% support banning denial due to pre-existing conditions.
When the entire plan is presented, support is strong. This statement was presented:
This plan would require every American citizen to have health insurance
and require large employers to provide coverage to their employees. It
would require insurance companies to cover those with pre-existing
conditions and prevent them from dropping coverage for people who get
sick, while providing incentives for affordable preventive care. Individuals
and small businesses that do not have coverage would be able to select a
private insurance plan from a range of options sold on a National
Insurance Exchange. Lower and middle income people would receive
subsidies to help them afford insurance, while those individuals who like
the coverage they already have will be able to keep their current plan.
Louisianans supported this 57 to 38%. Seniors in Maine supported it 54-36.
All this leaves us feeling pretty good looking ahead to the 2010 elections, when more progressives need to be elected to avoid the effects of lone wolf types like Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman.