Showing posts with label Public Option. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Public Option. Show all posts

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Parallels between 2010 and Todays Healthcare Debate


All of the hoopla over the Russia investigation may be providing a needed temporary distraction from Mitch McConnell's efforts to ram through the repeal and possible replacement of the Affordable Care Act (aka ACA or Obamacare).  John McCain's speech on the Senate floor provided some added drama for the vote to simply allow debate on the bill to move forward.  In their zeal to get something passed how much are they thinking about their impact on ordinary folks?

Looking back on the struggles to get the ACA passed in 2009-2010 we see some parallels to today's debate.  The Democrats had a super majority of 60 votes in the Senate but with the threat of a filibuster, could not afford any defections to pass a bill.  No Republicans supported the ACA (including Susan Collins).  One of the largest sticking points back the was the public option.  The two holdouts for passing the law were Senators Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman.  They opposed the public option.  There were other disagreements over whether abortion and other procedures would be covered.

This time around the Republicans have a bare majority in the Senate and can afford at least one defection from support for the law to prevent it from passing.  Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski were the lone holdouts on the vote to have a debate on the bill (both voted against the ACA in 2010).  However there are several potential holdouts for the final vote.  One glaring difference between the two situations is this time the GOP is voting on the bill under budget reconciliation which cannot be filibustered.  Seven years ago the Democrats could have voted on the ACA with a public option under reconciliation but chose not to.  



Adding to the drama over the laws passage was sen. Ted Kennedy's brain cancer.  He did not live to see the vote.  His replacement, Martha Coakley lost the special election to former cosmopolitan model republican Scott Brown.  McCain will stay on with brain cancer to avoid the risk of losing his seat before the final vote which is expected soon but it's a race against time just as it is a race against time for us.

Seven years ago the GOP hammered Nancy Pelosi for saying "we have to pass the bill to find out what's in it."  Now few people really know what's in the GOP bill.  Bills always get rewritten and amended right before they come up for a vote.

**Update**


Last night provided drama and ooohs and aaahs from the Senate Gallery with Sens. Collins, McCain and Murkowski voting no on the last ditch effort to repeal and replace the ACA thus killing the effort at least for now. While Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi are enjoyng this debacle, Single Payer advocates can learn thins from both instances.  These instances provide insights into how difficult it is to pass meaningful legislation in today's political climate even ones as flawed as these measures are.  Our founding fathers did not want a king but they were equally afraid of rule by the mob.

   **Related Posts**

As The ACA (Obamacare) Replacement Fails, the ACA and Single Payer are More Popular than Ever


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

My Pre-Debate, Pre Blog Anniversary Post

It was fun comparing my high school graduating class to the class of '16 at Bishop McCort, but now I feel that I need to weigh in the election.  Since the conventions the candidates have been focusing on things like Trump's personality and temperament which I admit are pretty scary but I'm hearing little discussion of issues.  The campaign ad below shows Republicans rightly denouncing Trump.  The ad appears to be trying to get Republicans to vote for her or for the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.  Sanders did get some concessions from Clinton on the public option and the $15/hour minimum wage in the party platform but I'm hearing little discussion of it from her now.  The closer the race gets the more she needs Sanders supporters.



On a side note Bernie Sanders has sat down for an interview for The Nation magazine on the status of his movement since the conventions. In it he argued that a Trump presidency would be a disaster for the nation and the world.  It's hard to argue against that.

My last comment is in response to a letter to the editor in The Tribune-Democrat titled "Nation Closer to Socialism than Many Believe."  In it Jackie Clark argues that the US is on a slippery slope towards socialism following Central and South American countries such as Venezuela and Brazil.  Clark argues that the socialism is just a precursor to establishing Soviet style communism.  

Clark neglects to mention that most European nations have embraced some form of democratic socialism for the past 70 to 100 years and are showing no signs of sliding into communism.  Indeed the communism that existed behind the iron curtain during the Cold War was imposed on them by the Soviets and fell apart quickly as the USSR did.  If they really intended to become communist they would have done it by now. 

As far as suppressing freedom goes, the Scandinavian countries are in a better position to take personal initiative in creating businesses as they do not need to worry about health care, child care, and education expenses.  The difficulties in Venezuela, Brazil, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and others are more due to the global financial crisis (due to unfettered capitalism), to the decline in global oil prices, and to good old fashioned corruption.

The last three paragraphs will be submitted to the Tribune Democrat in response.  I'll let you know if it is published.  Next up, the 6th anniversary post.

 
**Related Posts**

What Would a Trump Presidency Look Like?

Clinton 7 Times More Likely to Win in States Where Trump Wins

What Effect Do 3rd Parties Have on Trump and Clinton?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Insult Roulette

For me the recent bruhaha over the Rush Limbaugh/Sandra Fluke brings back memories of another one from 2010 in which Sarah Palin (who was teasing with running for the GOP Pres nod at the time) was calling for President Obama to fire then White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.  Emanuel called critics of the Affordable Care Act who favor the public option/single payer and expletive related to the developmentally disabled (the politically correct term for the mentally retarded) which shall not be repeated here but is in the funny clip below. 


This was one time where I had to agree with Palin that Emanuel should be fired.  Not only because I sympathize her because of her son with Down's Syndrome but because it is also simply bad politics which former community organizer Obama should know.  Many of these liberal activists worked very hard to get Obama elected.  Rush Limbaugh also reiterated Emanuel's comments (Palin excused Limbaugh for being "subtle" as can be seen in the clip above).  Emanuel did apologize to Sargent Shriver, head of the Special Olympics, but not to any healthcare activists and he is now mayor of Chicago.

For him to take the same attitude as Limbaugh toward Obama's most loyal supporters is the epitome of bad politics.  Is it any wonder that the Democrats lost the US House in 2010?  Colbert can get away with calling Palin the expletive that Emanuel and Limbaugh used on activists because they are not on the same team.  Bill Maher can get away on Real Time with calling Bristol Palin worse than what Limbaugh called Fluke because his HBO show doesn't have sponsors.  Imagine if Limbaugh calls Bristol Palin sexually derogatory term on his radio show?  Sarah Palin could raise a tizzy and possibly get him fired because she has pull with his base. 

Bill Maher, Glenn Beck, and Don Imus all lost their shows after making controversial public statements and are now continuing to make them in less high profile shows.

**Related Posts**


Why does the right demonize Nancy Pelosi?


Bullying & Society

 

Auf Wiedersehen Glenn Beck, Hello Merv Griffin 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Health Care Law - New Rasmussen Poll Down the Memory Hole

In my previous post, The US and Republicans Want Health Care Law Repealed....?, I discussed how Rasmussen Polling makes their crosstabulation and demographic information available only to those who pay them $19.95/month. Their press release and the wording of their questions implied that they restricted their samples to those with insurance only.

This week Rasmussen released a poll where reference to the insured sample is removed from the title of their press release and the wording of the questions (listed below) no longer implies this as well. According to the press release, the survey is more in line with other polling with a 54-46% split in favor of repeal (see Real Clear Politics Health Care Polling Page) but, as with other most polls, does not say if this is because the bill is too conservative (ie. no public option or single payer alternatives) or too liberal (preventing insurance companies from dropping patients due to preexisting conditions).  I would love to claim credit for their including the uninsured (estimated to be 50 million or 17% of the US population) in their sample but, as they still only make their full poll with demographics and crosstabulations available for a price, I cannot be sure if this is really the case.  The full press release can be read below.


National Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters
Conducted January 7-8, 2011
By Rasmussen Reports


1* Will the health care plan passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama be good for the country or bad for the country?

2* A proposal has been made to repeal the health care bill and stop it from going into effect. Do you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose a proposal to repeal the health care bill?

3* If the health care bill is repealed would that be good for the economy, bad for the economy or would it have no impact on the economy?

4* If the health care bill is repealed would that lead to the creation of more jobs?

5* How likely is it that the Health Care bill will be repealed?
 
NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence

**Related Posts**


POLL: Dislike of healthcare law crosses party lines, 1 in 4 Dems want repeal - TheHill.com (But Doesn't Ask Why)


**Update**

Real Clear Politics (RCP) lists Rasmussen's sample as 1000 likely voters.  Other major polls besides the Democracy Corps use the US adult population as their sample and have smaller margins of opposition.  Since likely voters are more likely to be affluent the uninsured are still more likely to be underrepresented in this sample if they are really included at all.  The RCP summary page can be seen at:

Obama and Democrats' Health Care Plan

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The US and Republicans Want Health Care Law Repealed....?

Rasmussen Reports polling has come out with a survey that says that support for repeal for the Obama health care law now stands at 60% for at least somewhat in favor of repeal to 38% against. They say 49% strongly favor repeal (but don't say why) . This poll came out on Monday and is higher than the 55%-41% ratio that was reported for a poll taken on Dec 17-18. Their press release on the survey can be read here.

Health Care Law - Rasmussen Reports™

Rasmussen charges $19.95/month for a platinum membership for access to the full survey and crosstabulations which I refuse to pay (the wording of the questions can be read here). As luck would have it CNN conducted a similar survey of 1,008 adults over Dec 17-19 which found a similar 54%-43% split and made the questions and crosstabulations available for free (just as they did with their exit poll and Fox News did not). The full report can be read at:

Interviews with 1,008 adult Americans conducted by telephone
by Opinion Research Corporation on December 17-19, 2010. The
margin of sampling error for results based on the total sample is
plus or minus 3 percentage points.


The poll did break down the reasons why they oppose the law and tracked the responses over time. As in my other post on health care law polling those who favor the law combined with those who oppose it because it is not liberal enough comprise a majority of the population. As can be seen from the table, with the margin of error from each survey at +/- 3%, that, if anything, the percentage of those favoring the law has increased slightly from 39% to 43%, while those who oppose it for being too liberal decreased slightly from 43% to 37%. Those who oppose if for being not liberal enough showed no change at 13% and those who express no opinion showed hardly any change. The questions are worded as such followed by the responses from both questions combined.

24. As you may know, a bill that makes major changes to the country's health care system became law earlier this year. Based on what you have read or heard about that legislation, do you generally favor or generally oppose it?
25. (IF OPPOSE) Do you oppose that legislation because you think its approach toward health care is too liberal, or because you think it is not liberal enough?


Dec 17-19
2010
Aug. 6-10
2010
Mar 19-21
2010
Favor
43%
40%
39%
Oppose, too liberal
37%
41%
43%
Oppose, not liberal enough
13%
13%
13%
No opinion
7%
6%
5%

The report on page 5 shows predictably how support for the law differs across genders (with women more likely to oppose it for not being liberal enough 15% to 10%) and across racial and income groups (with whites more likely to oppose it for being too liberal than nonwhites 42%-22% and higher income groups opposing it similarly relative to low income 47%-26%). Liberals, moderates, and conservatives favor and oppose the law in predicable directions.

The poll then went on to question the respondents about three specific provisions in the new law: the individual mandate requiring everyone not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid or other governmental insurance to purchase private insurance, preventing insurance companies from dropping for people who become seriously ill, and also preventing insurance companies from denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions. The results are summarized in the table below. The least popular individual mandate which was declared unconstitutional by a Virginia Federal Judge has been steadily losing popularity. The other two provisions preventing insurance companies from denying coverage due to illness have been consistently popular.

26. Now here are a few provisions in the health care bill. Please tell me whether you favor or oppose
each one: (RANDOM ORDER)

Favor
Oppose
No opinion
Requiring all Americans who do not have
health insurance to get it
December 17-19, 2010
38%
60%
2%
August 6-10, 2010
44%
56%
1%
February 12-15, 2010
45%
53%
1%
November 13-15, 2009*
49%
49%
1%
Preventing health insurance companies from dropping coverage for people who
become seriously ill
December 17-19, 2010
61%
39%
*
August 6-10, 2010
59%
41%
*
February 12-15, 2010
62%
38%
*
November 13-15, 2009*
60%
39%
*
Preventing health insurance companies from denying coverage to people with
pre-existing conditions
December 17-19, 2010
64%
35%
1%
August 6-10, 2010
58%
42%
1%
February 12-15, 2010
58%
42%
1%
November 13-15, 2009*
60%
40%
1%

Pages 7 thru 9 summarize the breakdown of these three questions by demographics and ideology. They indicate fairly consistent opposition to the individual mandate with somewhat higher opposition in whites and men than nonwhites and women but the differences are within the statistical margin of error so no definitive conclusions can be drawn. There is some ideological division on this issue but it is not wide between liberals and moderates with stronger opposition among conservatives.

Support for placing limitations on insurance companies is fairly consistent across genders, racial groups, income levels, ideologies, political parties, and regions of the US such as in the table below for preventing insurance companies from dropping coverage for those who become seriously ill. Even 63% of tea party supporters support this provision and 55% of them support the provision preventing insurance companies from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions. Many of them do not seem to mind government intervention in this case.




Political Party
Political Ideology
Total
Democrat
Independent
Republican
Liberal
Moderate
Conservative
Favor
61%
63%
62%
56%
61%
64%
59%
Oppose
39%
37%
38%
44%
39%
36%
41%
Sampling Error
+/-3.0
+/-5.5
+/-4.5
+/-6.0
+/-7.5
+/-5.0
+/-5.0

Not asked in the CNN poll (or perhaps Rasmussen) is ways in which the law could be made more liberal such as with a public option or single payer alternatives. The unpopularity of the individual mandate suggests that further follow up information may need to be collected on this question.

The ideological divide on health care becomes less clear when you start talking about specific proposals and don't hide behind catch phrases like 'big government.' I'm not going to pay the $19.95 just to see exactly what was asked and what was the demographic breakdown for Rasmussen's poll. They say in their press release that "With the Republican takeover of the House driven in part by widespread opposition to the health care law, debate is already heavy in Washington over whether the new GOP majority will push for full repeal of the measure. But 52% of voters think
Congress should review the health care bill piece by piece and keep the parts it likes."

Which parts of the law would the new teary eyed Speaker John Boehner like? The ones the tea party likes or the ones the insurance companies like? Will Obama stick to his principles when it matters most? Stay tuned.

**Related Posts**

Health Care Law - New Rasmussen Poll Down the Memory Hole

 

POLL: Dislike of healthcare law crosses party lines, 1 in 4 Dems want repeal - TheHill.com (But Doesn't Ask Why)


Ezra Klein - Column: A world with an individual mandate


Teapartiers sandbagged by health insurers | MollyRush's Blog and a calculation mortality rates for lack of insurance. 

 

 Cognitive dissonance in Pittsburgh and beyond: Want to die?


**Update**

Rasmussen published another poll on the health care law showing a 60%-36% in favor of repeal. This time they did also not make the cross tabulations available for free but they did make the wording of the questions available. The questions that are asked are as revealing as the the ones that are not. There's no question about why repeal might be desired as in the CNN poll. In question 4 respondents are asked about their coverage but there's no alternative for the uninsured which is estimated to be 50 million or 17% of the US population. The title of their press release and the wording of question four indicate that the uninsured were excluded from their sample. There was no discussion of demographics either in the press release. The press release for this survey can be read here.

Health Care Law

National Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters
Conducted January 2, 2011 2010
By Rasmussen Reports
1* Will the health care plan passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama be good for the country or bad for the country?
2* A proposal has been made to repeal the health care bill and stop it from going into effect. Do you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose a proposal to repeal the health care bill?
3* How likely is it that passage of the health care reform plan will mean you have to change your own insurance coverage?
4* How do you rate your own health insurance coverage?
NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Teapartiers sandbagged by health insurers | MollyRush's Blog and a calculation mortality rates for lack of insurance.

Molly Rush, Pittsburgh health insurance activist and blogger, brilliantly in her blog about how the health insurance companies were giving money to anti healthcare groups such as the US Chamber of Commerce (covertly due to the Citizens United decision by the US Supreme Court) while at the same time negotiating with the Obama administration for the most advantageous deal possible with an individual mandate requiring everyone to buy their product.

Teapartiers sandbagged by health insurers | MollyRush's Blog

Stephen Colbert gives a good review of how the debate went in the past year.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Exclusive - The Healthcare Special
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogMarch to Keep Fear Alive

A Federal judge in Virginia has ruled that the individual mandate is unconstitutional meaning that the US Supreme Court will have to resolve this issue. This ruling may be good news not just for those who want to kill the bill but for those who want to improve it with a public option and single payer alternatives.

In 2009 an analysis by Andrew P. Wilper MD MPH, Steffie Woolhandler, MD, MPH, Karen E. Lasser, MD, MPH, Danny McCormick, MD, MPH, David H. Bor, MD,
and David U. Himmelstein, MD at Harvard estimated that about 45,000 people die due to a lack of health insurance per year. This estimate was cited by Alan Grayson on the US House floor and raised the ire of the right who refused to believe this estimate. I cited this estimate at the height of the debate on my facebook page and many of my conservative friends also refused to believe. I feel the need to recount how they arrived at that estimate now. The whole article can be read at this link.

Health Insurance and Mortality in US Adults

Wilper et al. began with the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) to estimate mortality rates in those aged between 17 and 64. It is a representative sample (using similar methodology that was used in the exit polling for the 2010 election) of the US population where a vast array of health data was collected on on habits, weight, blood pressure, demographics such as race and poverty, etc. This data was linked to data from the National Death Index to tell the researchers if they were alive or dead at the time of the analysis. Before the data was given to the researchers any information that could identify the participants was scrubbed from the file. The data were analyzed using Cox regression survival analysis and they found that after adjusting for all other potential risk factors for mortality there was an estimated 40% elevated risk of death for those uninsured relative to those insured. Applying this 40% elevated risk to census data for the US population and the size of the uninsured population which is bigger now (50 million) than it was when this article was published (46 million) gives the 45,000 excess deaths estimate which many kill the billers dispute.

Many may still disregard these estimates just as they have in the related post on health care polling below. Anyone who doubt that there is still a crisis of access to health care in the United States should come to a free clinic and talk to those receiving care. Many of whom have not received care in years.


**Related Posts**

POLL: Dislike of healthcare law crosses party lines, 1 in 4 Dems want repeal - TheHill.com (But Doesn't Ask Why)


Senate, House, Governor Races, Making Sense of Just One Race


Ezra Klein - Column: A world with an individual mandate

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Nancy remains. Now what about Harry (and now Barry)?


John Nichols has written many insightful blogs at The Nation magazine about the recent power struggles within the House Democratic Caucus. Below he details how Speaker Pelosi will soon be Minority Leader Pelosi and the challenges ahead. In a previous post I detailed how she was attacked in advertising in this past election and likely will be in 2012 (see Why does the Right Demonize Nancy Pelosi?)

Pelosi Easily Retains Leadership Post; Now She Must Lead | The Nation

While the focus has been on the House drama with Republicans drooling at more demonizing. The Senate has received little attention because party leadership has not changed hands there. The upper chamber of Congress began Obama's Presidency with a 60 seat (supposedly filibuster proof) super majority with Harry Reid as the Majority Leader.

Sen. Reid began the 110th Congress, along with President Obama, with high expectations from the public. The Republicans were determined to oppose their agenda every step of the way and to expose the cracks in that supermajority. What response did the former boxer from Nevada in this obstinance?

They were successful in getting the stimulus reduced to a level that would have less effect than was needed so they could later argue that these policies just don't work. On Health Care, Single Payer provisions were scuttled from the outset and the public option could have been kept in the bill through budget reconciliation (which would only require a simple majority vote) but where was Harry?

Before the election recess, a vote on repealing the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans could have been taken but Harry chickened out. Even if the repeal had been blocked by the Reps in the Senate it would have put them on the spot and it could've passed the House easily. The financial reform bill also was stronger in the House than in the Senate. Polls were showing that these reforms were popular and taking a stand on these things could have made a difference in the recent election for the House as well as the Senate Democrats. Other bills that House passed but the Senate has wavered or balked on are the Employee Free Choice Act which makes it easier for employees to form unions, the repeal of the don't ask don't tell policy which would allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the US military, and on Nov 17 the Paycheck Fairness Act which would have corrected paycheck imbalances between men and women. On the foreign policy side the New START treaty with Russia to reduce nuclear both sides weapons may be stalled and never passed.

Yes Sen. Reid's party is still in control of the Senate and it's traditions give the minority party a lot of leverage. However his party is just barely in the majority and he himself is lucky to still be there because he had tea party wingnut Sharron Angle as an opponent. A more level headed Republican opponent would have trounced him. More skilled Senate leaders like Lyndon Johnson found ways to get important laws passed when the people needed it. I'm not sure who that should be, Russ Feingold would have been a good choice but he's gone, but clearly a shake up in the rules and the leadership is needed but none is coming Reid is back.


**Update**


Obama has caved to the Reps to get an unemployment extension and anything else passed. Maybe the title of this post should have been "Nancy remains. Now what about Harry and Barry?" Vermont Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders is now threatening a filibuster of his own for the tax cut deal. See.

Obama-GOP Tax Deal 'an Absolute Disaster,' Says Bernie Sanders, as Filibuster Talk Stirs


Obama's "Deal": Tax Breaks for Billionaires, Estate Tax Exemption for Millionaires, "Heartburn" for Democrats


Obama Caves on Tax Cuts, Endorses 'Bush-McCain Philosophy'


**Related Posts**


Why does the right demonize Nancy Pelosi?


POLL: Dislike of healthcare law crosses party lines, 1 in 4 Dems want repeal - TheHill.com (But Doesn't Ask Why)


Senate, House, Governor Races, Making Sense of Just One Race

Thursday, October 7, 2010

POLL: Dislike of healthcare law crosses party lines, 1 in 4 Dems want repeal - TheHill.com (But Doesn't Ask Why)

Here is yet another example of the media showing THAT the health care law is unpopular but fails to look at WHY this is the case.

POLL: Dislike of healthcare law crosses party lines, 1 in 4 Dems want repeal - TheHill.com

How the question is worded has a big influence on the results of the poll. Here is one of the few polls which asks better questions.

AP Poll: Many think health overhaul should do more

This poll indicates that those who wanted the bill to do more (about 20 million will still be left uninsured), sooner (the bill won't take full effect until 2014) outnumber those who want it repealed by 2-1. Before the law was passed several polls were published showing that support for single payer and the robust public option was popular but the drug, insurance, and hospital industries hated it.

CBS News/New York Times Survey Shows Most Americans Approve Of Government Intervention In Health Care Coverage

Tom Daschle has admitted that the Obama administration was too eager to please these industries but then backtracked his statement.

Daschle: Public Option ‘Taken Off The Table’ In July (2009) Due To ‘Understanding People Had With Hospitals'

This is one of the factors in the "enthusiasm gap" that the democrats are experiencing now this election cycle. Obama & co. just tell the rank & file to buck up and go to the polls anyway. It has taken 45 years since Medicare and Medicaid has passed for any kind of health care reform to pass. How much longer will it take for real reform to happen?

Another AP poll shows those who want bill expanded at least equal to those who want it repealed with gender gaps in both parties.

AP-GfK Poll: Americans split on health care repeal

A new study released in the journal Health Affairs shows that the US has slipped from 24th in the world in life expectancy to 49th since 1999 even after controlling for things like smoking, diet and other lifestyle factors. Those who want the bill and any other move toward universal sane coverage repealed will not want to hear believe this. You can read the original article at:

What Changes In Survival Rates Tell Us About US Health Care

Yet another poll comes out showing the same thing (those who want the law improved or kept are 51% while those who want it weakened or repealed are 44% of the population) as above only this time the lamestream and the Democrats are media is starting to notice. Here is the link to the original article.

New poll undercuts GOP claims of a midterm mandate

E
zra Klein of the Washington Post has a column on how at least some Democrats are retaking the offensive on health care. Better late than never.

Three ways Democrats are going back on the offense over health-care reform

Even in the Pennsylvania Senate Race, where free market radical Pat Toomey(R) defeated Joe Sestak(D) 51%-49%, the exit poll showed the same pattern 52%-45% but Sestak hardly mentioned it and those who wanted it expanded were more likely to stay home. Those who wanted it kept the same broke 30% for Toomey. D'Oh. If they hadn't been so timid in the first place they would be in a better bargaining position now. You can see the breakdown in the Senate race in the related post below.

**Update**

A Federal Judge in Virginia has struck down part of the Obama Health Care Law. He sided with the Virginia Attorney General on the Constitutionality of the part requiring all Americans to purchase health insurance. Polls show that this is the least popular part of the bill. This case will be headed to the US Supreme Court. The link is below. The public option would make the bill more popular but single payer would be the most constitutional as Medicare is.

Judge in Va. strikes down federal health care law



Stephen Colbert has a good review of the disconnect from reality of the healthcare debate earlier this year and last.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Exclusive - The Healthcare Special
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogMarch to Keep Fear Alive

**Related Posts**

Health insurers force children into the ranks of the uninsured | Seema Jilani | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk


Senate, House, Governor Races, Making Sense of Just One Race