The Democrats’ Dilemma

Today’s Rasmussen survey has data that shed considerable light on the health care debate. The question posed to likely voters was whether they favor a single-payer health care system. (“Single payer” is a euphemism for socialized medicine.) Americans overwhelmingly reject government medicine, 57-32 percent.
But what is really interesting is the partisan breakdown. Most Democrats, 62 percent, do want single payer. That explains why, when Democrats are among friends like Barack Obama addressing an SEIU group, they aren’t shy about their intention that the “government option” evolve into the only option.
The problem is that Americans who aren’t Democrats overwhelmingly reject socialized medicine: 87 percent of Republicans are opposed, and those not affiliated with either party reject single payer by a decisive 63-22 percent margin.
So it’s hard for Democrats to stay consistent. Democrats can’t win primaries unless they advocate “universal health care”–another euphemism–but at the same time, they can’t admit that Obama meant it when he said that his proposal would lead to the extinction of private insurance. Likewise at the micro level: Democrats are required to become indignant at the idea that their plan will force everyone to buy abortion coverage; they say the bill doesn’t say that. No, it doesn’t: it says that an unaccountable panel will decide what minimum coverages every insurance policy must have in order to be “qualified.” I don’t suppose anyone seriously doubts that those minimum coverages will include not just abortion but payoffs to a number of Democratic constituencies. Psychotherapy, for example, is sure to be encouraged.
I suspect that the the Democrats’ inability to talk honestly about health care (in public, anyway) is part of what drives their hysteria in the face of opposition to their plans.

Responses