As it becomes increasingly clear in the light of day that the bill passed by the U.S. House in the dark of night cannot find the necessary votes in the Senate, it is time for leaders to explore alternatives that have the support of the American people and will set us on a path to contain costs and achieve our goals without massive tax hikes and ever more spending.
Last month my firm surveyed 500 nationally representative registered voters about competing visions for health care reform. The results were clear: voters want a plan in line with what GOP leaders offered as their alternative on Saturday night. Voters preferred a comprehensive, step by step, common sense restructuring of the health care system over the massive, incredibly expensive, one size fits all, all at once plan offered by Speaker Pelosi. Voters were especially drawn to reforms which reduce the costs to consumers without adding to the deficit, create no new government agencies, and are less costly than the Democrat’s plan.
This should be welcome news to wary Legislators, especially those from red states and red districts. The public is not ready for a rapid and radical transformation of the health care system – they prefer a step by step solution to accomplish meaningful reforms. A strong plurality of voters believe that the President and Congress are trying to accomplish too much when it comes to healthcare and an overwhelming 63% of voters agree that “my health care is too important to risk on one gigantic piece of legislation rushed through Congress. I would rather see Congress take a more thoughtful step by step approach, focusing on common sense reforms.”
Support for this step by step approach grew as we added more components of the Republican and Democrat plans: support for the GOP plan soared when a “no new tax” pledge coupled with an incremental approach was tested against a comprehensive reform plan that includes tax increases. Indeed a clear consensus emerged from the data: Americans believe that if we make the right decisions, we can reform our health care system without raising taxes.