Rasmussen: 57% think ObamaCare will damage economy

posted at 12:52 pm on March 9, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The White House promised a “hard pivot” to jobs and the economy almost three months ago, attempting to put the ObamaCare debate on the back burner after the holidays.  They had belatedly discovered that the electorate was much more concerned about the economic plunge than in retooling a health-care system that works for most Americans now.  Instead of the hard pivot, Democrats have doubled down on ObamaCare — and the latest Rasmussen survey shows that a strong majority believe it to be the wrong direction on both issues:

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of voters say the health care reform plan now working its way through Congress will hurt the U.S. economy.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 25% think the plan will help the economy. But only seven percent (7%) say it will have no impact. Twelve percent (12%) aren’t sure.

Two-out-of-three voters (66%) also believe the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats is likely to increase the federal deficit. That’s up six points from late November and comparable to findings just after the contentious August congressional recess. Ten percent (10%) say the plan is more likely to reduce the deficit and 14% say it will have no impact on the deficit.

Underlying this concern is a lack of trust in the government numbers. Eighty-one percent (81%) believe it is at least somewhat likely that the health care reform plan will cost more than official estimates. That number includes 66% who say it is very likely that the official projections understate the true cost of the plan.

Only a plurality of Democrats believe that the bill will help the economy (43%), while 89% of Republicans and 61% of independents think it will damage it.

Politically, the Democrats have the worst of all worlds.  Not only do they look out of touch for spending all of their efforts on a plan that is deeply unpopular with voters, they now are seen as actively damaging the economy.  The deficit spending alone would be enough to send voters heading for the exits, but the increased costs are even worse.  Seventy-eight percent of all respondents believe that middle-class tax increases will come as a result of ObamaCare, with almost two-thirds (65%) believing that to be “very likely.”  Fifty-eight percent of Democrats expect middle-class tax increases, which shows how effective Obama has been in selling this plan.

What’s the biggest problem with ObamaCare?  Majorities of all political affiliations agree: the cost.    Hardly anyone believes the cost estimates.  When asked whether the bill would exceed its cost estimates, 93% of Republicans, 70% of Democrats, and 80% of independents thought it at least somewhat likely — with 88% of Republicans and 73% of independents calling it “very likely.”  Only 20% of Democrats thought it unlikely.  Again, this looks like a big failure of the Obama administration’s efforts to sell the package as a cost containment program.

Democrats now face the prospect of using arcane parliamentary tricks to pass a bill that has minimal support, one that most voters believe will damage the economy, cost more than advertised, and prompt sweeping tax increases, all while ignoring the issues of a damaged economy while attempting to make it worse.  If they think that’s a winning strategy for the midterms, they need new leadership — and after the electoral disaster coming, they’ll probably be forced to get it.


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