05 March 2007


Fascinating poll out in today's New York Times. Here's the lede:

Most Support U.S. Guarantee of Health Care

Published: March 2, 2007
A majority of Americans say the federal government should guarantee health insurance to every American, especially children, and are willing to pay higher taxes to do it, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
(Emphasis mine) More than half of all respondents thought health care was the most important domestic issue facing the country. Half of respondents aid they would be willing to pay up to $500 more annually in taxes to achieve this goal. The consensus was that "the Federal Government should guarantee health insurance for all Americans" by a 64%-27% margin. However, there was not a clear preference for a single-payer government plan as opposed to mandated employer-based coverage. By a four-to-one margin, respondents rated universal health coverage as more important than extending Bush's tax cuts.

I am most impressed that this is perceived as a serious enough crisis that people are willing to pay more in personal taxes to reach a solution. I can't remember any other issue in my lifetime which evoked a willingness to pay more in taxes, even in anonymous polling (which is quite different from when the new taxes are actually passed through Congress).

I like to see this. Momentum is building for serious reform. Now all we need is to recapture the White House . . . that should be easy enough, right?

(Obligatory snark - in the same poll, Bush's numbers creep back into Nixon territory with an overall approval rating of 29% and an approval of 23% on Iraq)


scalpel said...

IF everyone paid $500, great. Sign me up. But that's not the way our tax system usually works, is it?

JimII said...

The defenders of greed and selfishness created their own news channels when the corporate media spoke too much truth about their wicked champions. I wonder if the defenders of truth and light could do such a thing. I wonder if they even need to. I wonder if we are approaching the point when the grand corporate lie: People don't want national healthcare will be exposed. If we are nearing the point where, as happened with slavery, women's suffrage, child labor, monopolies, and Jim Crowe, the inherent greatness of America will lurch forward and end another era of inequality, sending the money grubbing, small minded, cockroaches scurrying to their holes to wait until the forces of good go to sleep again.

I wonder.

Felix Kasza said...

$500 from everyone -- including neonates, the indigent, and so on -- comes to about $150bn. That is a drop in the bucket given current healthcare expenditures, and extrapolating from those 46 million uninsured that keep getting mentioned.