Jennifer Rubin blogs about a fascinating poll at Gallup, showing that Americans overwhelmingly believe individuals “rather than the government — have the primary responsibility for ensuring that they have health insurance.” Rubin breaks down the numbers for us:
By a huge 62 to 35 percent margin, Democrats say it’s the government’s. Republicans believe the opposite—by an 89 to 10 percent margin, they say it is up to individuals. What’s remarkable is that independents are far closer to Republicans: by 64 to 34 percent, they maintain that the responsibility lies with individuals. By a 61 to 37 percent margin, Americans overall also say it is the individual’s responsibility, not the government’s.
Another Gallup question yielded a seemingly contradictory result, “54% of Americans” believe “it is the responsibility of the federal government to make sure all Americans have healthcare coverage”. While that number is the lowest in “Gallup trends,” it still is a majority.
I note the absence of the word, “insurance” in that second question. Perhaps, it’s that Americans want to make sure that there is a social safety net, that we do care for the less fortunate. It is striking that the number has significantly declined (by 10 full points) since Obama’s election. Maybe now that the national debate has turned to health care, people realize that the cost of that coverage is increased government regulation. As a result, they are less certain it is the government’s responsibility.
Perhaps the solution is something that I don’t see much discussed in the current debate, health insurance vouchers. The problem here is how to pay for them with a government already severely in debt.
Still, the first poll shows why, despite poll numbers showing decreasing support for Obamacare, the Democrats are still pushing a statist approach–it’s what their constituents demand.