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THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Opinion from The Wall Street Journal: ObamaCare and Voters - Clinton and Obama told Democrats it would be popular. Whoops.


Opinion from The Wall Street Journal:

Midterm elections amid a lousy economy are usually bad for the President's party, but it looks as if a neutron bomb may detonate on Democrats in 2010. And one of the major reasons that this year shifted from ordinary losses to potential catastrophe is ObamaCare. This election is a referendum on an entitlement the public never wanted and continues to hate, as evidence from around the country is showing.

Take almost any poll at random. Even this week's New York Times-CBS poll has repeal leading among likely voters, 47% to 43%. The latest Pew-National Journal survey shows that a majority of likely voters—51%—favors repeal, including 53% of independents. The Real Clear Politics average of all polling shows support for the law at 40.9%—and opposition at 50.6%.

The Kaiser Family Foundation—whose outlier tracking poll has consistently shown the most ObamaCare support—now reports that only 42% view the law favorably. That's a seven-point drop since September, and it happened to coincide with the start date for the "patients bill of rights," which Kaiser says is among the bill's popular parts. Voters are learning that mandates—like those that allow "children" to remain on their parents' health insurance until age 26—tend to increase costs.

There are many other such scales-from-the-eyes moments. The New England Journal of Medicine, another outlet for ObamaCare partisans, recently conceded in a "perspective" akin to an editorial that "it seems clear that Americans today have very negative views about the general direction of the country," in large part because of the health bill.

All this is particularly striking given that the President Obama, Bill Clinton and so many others assured the backbenchers that health care would be a political winner. Now even they have given up trying to spin that false promise, blaming voter hostility on TV ads and, er, the insurance industry that the public supposedly despises. The reality is that voters who oppose ObamaCare are far more knowledgeable about the law and its consequences than most Congressmen who voted for it.

Republicans must do more to advance a reform alternative to ObamaCare, but no one should mistake the implications of Tuesday's vote. Whatever the results, the public is telling Congress to repeal and replace this bill before it does any more damage.

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