Health Care Reform and Obama Approval Rating

by updated 2009/08/02

I heard and read several stories this week touting the approaching “success of health care reform”. The reporters seem almost breathless with excitement at times over the reality that a reform measure will soon be passed. Other reports, sometimes included within the health care reporting itself, make note of a slide in the approval rating of President Obama. A connection between the two is seldom made, but when it is, the reporting seems more puzzled than insightful as to what that connection is. The logic seems to be that since a health care reform measure of some type seems certain, Obama’s approval rating should be steady at least, and rising at best. Is this flaw in this logic so obvious to me because I am clueless on this whole topic? Or are the reporters and “experts” on health care just so excited to have something to report on that they purposely avoid telling the real story?

The health care reforms being discussed are really nothing but more of the same in U.S. politics and I guess many of us were naive to think it would be any different. Obama was elected to bring about change. Now that he is President he is following the tried and true method of political success, compromise. This is not sitting well with many people who voted for him and now feel that nothing much has really changed. Whatever eventually passes for “health care Reform”, it is becoming clear it will not go nearly far enough to make any difference at all. The needed legal reforms are not being addressed. The health insurance industry status quo is being protected. And, there is not going to be any real viable universal coverage option coming out of this. Much is made of the rising “cost of health care”. But nothing is being done about the fact that no matter how much health care costs overall, a huge chunk of the dollars spent goes to non-health related ventures like insurance company overhead and profit. The current reform package will not change this in any significant way at all.

The real disaster is that once a weak version of reform is passed, the political consensus will be that as much as possible was achieved. After much self congratulations and back slapping, true health care reform will be off the radar for another 10 to 20 years.

Obama’s popularity ratings are sliding because he is proving himself not able to get done what he talked about during his campaign. Once this health care bill passes, and the reality of how futile the few implemented reforms really are sinks in, his rating will slide even more.

Heath care reform? Rubbish. What seems to be coming out of all this spent time, effort, and money is just more political smoke and mirrors. And I guess some of us played the part of chumps in thinking it would possibly be different this time.

Will Sig

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