First, thank you to the hundreds of readers from across the nation who took the time to personally write me about my recent column comparing the memorial for Michael Jackson to those of seven soldiers killed in Afghanistan just days earlier. Very few took shots at Jackson -- nor did I -- but they understood my point in saying that men and women who die for our country are heroes, too.
Now to a subject that may appear either to have been beaten to death or to be a done deal -- the proposed health reform bill that the House of Representatives passed out of committee this past week. Let me make it clear that my company, a polling firm, has no client in the healthcare arena. Perhaps we should, because the national survey we conducted this week for one of the publications we own indicates clearly that while the House and President Obama may love the proposal, the American public hates it.
We polled 636 registered voters nationwide (margin of error 3.8 percent; poll weighted for age, race, gender and political affiliation.) The questions were simple ones about the legislation. There was no hype or "poison language" that many pollsters use to slant results.
Consider the response to the question, "What is your opinion of the proposed government-run healthcare program which is currently a part of the U.S. House of Representatives overall healthcare legislation?" Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they favored it, while 52 percent said they were opposed, with 11 percent undecided.
If you want to know why this healthcare proposal is a loser, you need go no further than to the next question we asked. "What level of trust do you have in the federal government's ability to provide and administer an efficient and effective healthcare program?" Only 26 percent said they trust the government to do so. That response is staggering.