After seeing their mandate for health-care reform dissipate in a blizzard of CBO analyses showing the costs of ObamaCare and the resistance of Americans to give up choice in coverage, Democrats revamped their message in the last two weeks. Instead of calling their effort health-care reform, they began calling it health-insurance reform. Nancy Pelosi attacked the insurance industry as “villains,” while the White House’s Office For Astroturfing changed its flyers to reflect the new strategy.
Has it worked? Rasmussen says … no. In fact, voters fear government control more than insurers:
When it comes to health care decisions, 51% of the nation’s voters fear the federal government more than private insurance companies. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 41% hold the opposite view and fear the insurance companies more. Seven percent (7%) are not sure who they fear the most.
Among those who have insurance, 53% fear the government more than insurance companies while 39% take the opposite view. Those without insurance fear the insurance companies more.
Adults under 30 fear the insurance companies more while those in their 40s are evenly divided. However, a solid majority of those over 40 fear the government more.
The age demographics show a counter-intuitive result. The younger (and presumably healthier) one is, the easier it should be to get insured. The youngest demo, 18-29, fear insurers more by 51%-42%, but every demographic above them fears government control more. Voters 40-49 have the strongest majority, 60%-38%, but it’s worth noting that the Medicare set, voters 65 and over, also fears government more, 56%-33% — and they should know.
Independents mirror the overall result, 53%-41%, which shows the danger in pursuing this tactic for the Democrats. It may win them their base, but it will drive away the people who gave them their majorities in Congress if they continue to position themselves as supporters of government control of health coverage. They’re also going to damage themselves among the better educated, one of Obama’s natural constituencies, as solid majorities in college-educated voters fear government control more than the insurance companies.
Republicans and other opponents of ObamaCare have made the right decision in emphasizing its potential to turn into a single-payer system. Wide majorities across almost all demographics oppose a single-payer system in the US (57%-32%), and even large majorities and pluralities believe a single-payer system would both be more costly (45%-24%) and less effective (52%-13%). Emphasizing statements from Obama and his allies in Congress that show their desire to use ObamaCare as a Trojan horse to eliminate insurers will tap into those numbers and burden ObamaCare even further.