Amid a budget debate that will affect the health care of virtually every family, a new poll finds support for President Barack Obama's overhaul at its lowest level since passage last year.
But in a ringing defense of Obama's policies, Medicare chief Donald Berwick pleaded Tuesday for more time on the health care law, and branded a leading Republican plan "unfair and harmful" and "a form of withholding care."
The Associated Press-GfK poll showed that support for Obama's expansion of health insurance coverage has slipped to 35 percent, while opposition stands at 45 percent and another 17 percent are neutral. That nearly ties the previous low in September 2009, when after a summer of heated town hall meetings dominated by critics, only 34 percent supported Obama's approach.
Hey, Dr. Berwick, you know what's "a form of withholding care?" Government rationing -- which is precisely what happens regularly in the system you love so dearly, and what is an inevitable outcome of Obamacare. Indeed, according to a White House "fact sheet" on today's forthcoming remarks, the president will call for "strengthening" the Independeny Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), the already uber-muscular government healthcare rationing panel. This, we're told, will help reduce healthcare costs beyond the illusory "savings" of Obamacare.
Meanwhile, in the Keystone State, which Obama won by double digits in 2008:
The president’s approval rating is way under water, with only 42% approving and 52%
disapproving, putting his standing here in league with where PPP has found him recently
in Missouri, Tennessee, and Mississippi, and worse than in McCain states like South
Dakota, South Carolina, Arizona, and Georgia.
And that's coming from PPP, a Democratic pollster. A recent Mason-Dixon poll also shows the president similarly upside down in the prized swing state of Florida. None of this is to suggest that the president won't or can't win re-election in 2012. I still think he's the odds-on favorite. But it ain't 2008 anymore, and with the right candidate and message, Republicans could make a very serious run at the White House.