Voters are increasingly worried about unemployment, but Democratic leaders in Congress remain obsessed with passing health- care reform. Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin was asked recently if a health-care bill would pass the Senate by the end of this month. "It must," he said. "We have to finish it."
Still, many in the trenches are uneasy about the sprawling, complex bill they privately acknowledge has no bipartisan support, doesn't seriously tackle soaring costs and will increase insurance premiums. That may explain Majority Leader Harry Reid's haste—he has ordered a rare Sunday session this weekend to hurry up the debate. Public support for the bill averages only 39.2% backing in all polls compiled by Pollster.com.
But buried in the surveys is an explanation for the Democratic obsession to pass the bill: An overwhelming 76% of Democrats back it. "They believe the liberal base expects them to deliver and will punish them if they don't," says Democratic pollster Doug Schoen, who worked for Bill Clinton in the 1990s.
Many Democrats have grave misgivings about making the bill a top priority given the economy. But in the age of bloodthirsty partisan bloggers they dare not be fully candid.
05 December 2009
Democrats Feel The Pressure on Health Care
Pandering to either extreme produces lousy results.
They believe the liberal base expects them to deliver and will punish them if they don't.Count me among those who wanted health care reform, but this bill is too flawed to support, for reasons stated here: Report on Health Care