Talk about an inconvenient truth for congressional Republicans and their amen corner in the media!
As the debate about health-care reform reaches a fever pitch — with a key House vote now expected to take place Sunday — conservatives in Congress and on talk radio would have us believe that Americans are dead-set against expanding access to care or in any way constraining the profiteering of the insurance industry.
Yet, independent polling suggests that a plurality of Americans now support the plan proposed by the Obama administration and its congressional allies — and that support is on the rise as the debate clarifies.
A new poll by the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation finds that 46 percent of the surveyed support the legislative package, while just 42 percent oppose it.
That’s an uptick for reform — as measured by a well-regarded polling operation that has long experience conducting surveys on health-care issues.
When Kaiser polled in January, Democratic proposals were supported by 42 percent of Americans.
In February, the number rose to 43 percent.
Opposition to reform is actually down one percent since February.
In the current polling, Democrats overwhelmingly support the legislation.
Republicans overwhelmingly oppose it.
Independents are almost evening split.
There is no question that Americans remain deeply devided on the issue of health-care reform.
Most polls, whether they indicate general public support for or against reform, put the difference between the two sides within the margin of error.
But that’s a lot different from overwhelming opposition.
And analysts of recent polls have pointed out that a substantial number of those who register opposition to the Obama plan say it does not go far enough.
What this suggests to wavering Democrats is that there is majority support for reform — even if there is some debate about its scope and character.
This is one of the reasons why previously skeptical members, such as Congressman Alan Boyd, a Blue-Dog Democrat from Florida, are breaking in favor of reform.
Washington state centrist Adam Smith, still officially undecided, now says he leans toward a “yes” vote.
And Virginia Congressman Tom Perriello, one of the House’s most vulnerable Democrats, just signed on, issuing a statement in which he declared: