Anyone Have a Pill for Health Care Reform Ignorance?

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Hats off to the Chicago Tribune's Eric Zorn for his editorial on the sorry state of public understanding about health care reform. With support hovering near 40% and sliding downward, the outlook seems grim.

What makes this so sad is that the public, and naysayers in particular, don't understand that which they oppose. A sampling:

  • Only 15% knew that the Congressional Budget Office estimates health care reform would reduce the federal deficit by $100 billion over the next 10 years. Among Republicans, this level of understanding drops by half - to 7%. When informed of the savings, 56% indicate they are more likely to support reform.

Do Obama and his administration deserve heat for a lackluster, ineffective educational campaign? Absolutely. Seventy percent of Americans find the issue hard to understand. It's made even more disappointing by the fact that Obama ran such a pervasive and highly effective social media-based election campaign.

Fair is fair, though. The public also bears responsibility for forming largely partisan, knee-jerk opinions on matters which they clearly do not understand. It's a fundamental problem - how can one run an effective democracy when voters don't understand the issues?

Next up: a bipartisan, televised "summit" on health care reform scheduled for this Thursday, Feb. 25. Obama has challenged Republicans to bring their plans for lowering health care costs and covering the more than 30 million uninsured.

The Kaiser Family Foundation has a side-by-side comparison of the bills, along with cost savings estimates.

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Comments

Barack Obama along with the remainder of his Washington cronies ought to be embarrassed with themselves. This is certainly an absolute outrage. I'd been under the impression that when the president takes office he has to declare an oath that will uphold and also defend the constitution of the us. Nowhere inside the Constitution did it allow the administration the authority to enact and also impose laws and regulations like the medical care reform bill. I really believe that these power mongers will be in for a real surprise come November. Best wishes on the collapse of your political careers.

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