The public still opposes a health care makeover 

In recent weeks, we've seen the return of the idea that passage of the Democratic national health care program is inevitable. And indeed, Democrats can point to some signs of progress. But as far as the big picture is concerned, after a wall-to-wall, 24/7 push by the White House and Democratic leaders, the public remains opposed to a health care makeover.

Pollster.com's average of polls on the issue shows that 49.6 percent of those surveyed oppose a national health care makeover, versus 43.2 percent who support it. A graph of those results shows the trend lines moving farther apart, not closer.

Pollster.com's listing of polls shows 35 different public surveys on health care reform since September 1. In 23 of those polls, more people said they opposed the plan than supported it; 11 polls show more people supporting than opposing; and one was tied. Of those 35 polls, a dozen have been done since October 1. In eight of them, more people opposed the plan than supported it; three were in favor, and one was tied.

Even more recently, four of the last five public polls show more people opposing reform than supporting it. The new Washington Post/ABC poll, for example -- touted as great news for reform because it shows support for a public option -- shows 48 percent of respondents opposed to reform, and 45 percent in favor.

By the way, in that new Washington Post poll, two-thirds of respondents say health care reform would increase the federal budget deficit -- a clear lack of faith in President Obama's promise that reform would not add "one dime" to the deficit.

The Post asked, "Just your best guess, do you think health care reform would increase the federal budget deficit, decrease it, or have no effect?" Ten percent say it would decrease the deficit, 18 percent say it would have no effect, and 68 percent say it would increase the deficit.

Of those who say it would increase the deficit, the pollsters asked an additional question: Would reform be worth it? Thirty-seven percent said it would not be worth it, and 31 percent said it would.
 

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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