2007/03/03

A small victory for the "human nature is good" camp

A new poll shows strong support for universal health care. 65 percent of respondents rate extending insurance to those who don't have it a bigger priority than keeping health costs down for those who are already insured. 48 percent support universal health care even if their own costs increased as much as $500/year.

Republicans in the survey acquit themselves better than expected, as 30 percent support a government guarantee of health care even if it raises their own costs. On the other hand the 52 percent of Republicans along with 13 percent of Democrats and 22 percent of independents who oppose universal health care reveal themselves as the true assholes of the country. You can make a superficially plausible case that poor people are to blame for being poor - it's a lot harder to make that argument about sickness and disease. Here the pretense of personal responsibility is dropped, and we see that most Republicans are just selfish bastards.

For many years polls have consistently shown strong popular support for universal health care. Every time one of these polls comes out the media seem surprised - an indication of the deep contempt the media hold for democratic priorities when popular desires don't mesh with those of the business and political elites. In every article except those on polls like this, universal health care is assumed to be utopian. It's truly remarkable that despite being told at every opportunity that universal health care is impossible, large majorities of Americans continue to support it.

What will the Democrats do with these popular demands? Mike Davis, discussing the state of the party following the midterm elections, is probably right that as long as popular forces remain unorganized and apathetic, the Democrats will continue to pursue corporate money at the expense of any real reforms. But as I've written, John Edwards's health care plan is actually quite good. If Clinton and Obama match him (unlikely) or if they're denied the nomination because they can't find the political courage to support universal health care, we might make real progress.

1 comment:

Chris said...

i love the infographics. keep it up.