You may remember that on January 3, this website reported the presidents approval index. The index represents the percentage of people who strongly approve of the president’s performance minus the percentage of people who strongly disapprove. At the beginning of the year, the presidents approval index was in the red with a rating of -15. Just yesterday, Rasmussen reported that Obama’s presidential approval has sunk to -19. It appears that this abysmal rating is directly related to America’s concerns over jobs and healthcare, based upon the following statistics:
Only 33% of those surveyed think that decisions made by the government will benefit business and the economy. The majority believe that those decisions are best left to business leaders in the private sector.
Only 39% of voters nationwide favor the health care plan proposed by the Democrats.
Only 35% believe that Congress should pass health care reform before the upcoming midterm elections.
A full 78% believe that the proposed healthcare plan will cost more than projected, will increase the federal deficit and will put more taxes on middle-class Americans.
A majority of those surveyed also fear that they will be forced to change their health insurance coverage if this legislation passes.
You would think that Obama would look at these numbers and adjust the agenda of his presidency accordingly, just as Bill Clinton did during his own presidency. Well, our current president is not adjusting his agenda. In fact, he’s now doubling down on it.
Today, Obama will propose the creation of yet another regulatory agency called the Health Insurance Rate Authority. Its purpose will be to review and block what it terms as excessive rate increases in health insurance industry based upon “current market conditions”. This plan presupposes that enabling free-market forces will not provide the necessary checks and balances related to price. No, according to Obama this must be controlled by a centralized authority that knows what’s best for consumers. The framework around this idea is based upon legislation proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and is part of a larger resurrection of the failed Democratic health care legislation. This proposal continues to push for creation of government insurance plans, a.k.a. “the public option”, as well as forcing all Americans to buy health insurance, regardless of whether they want it based upon their individual circumstance.
You may recall in Obama’s State of the Union address that jobs had become the number one priority of his administration. Healthcare insurance reform wasn’t even mentioned until 30 minutes into his speech, and then was given only limited mention. Many of us wanted to believe that Obama was going to focus his attention on the economy, but since then the administration has admitted that high unemployment numbers are to be expected throughout the remainder of Obama’s term. Four weeks after his speech, the focus again is on healthcare.
And now it appears that the White House supports implementation of healthcare legislation using reconciliation or as some have called it “the nuclear option”. This process would require only 51 votes instead of the normal 60 votes required under Senate rules. Reconciliation was introduced in 1974 in order to limit debate over adjusting specific dollar amounts in the federal budget. It was never intended to be used as a vehicle for forcing new legislation. This is clearly an abuse of power designed not only to bypass Republican senators but also the handful of Democratic senators who are similarly opposed to the proposed healthcare legislation. And of course, ultimately it’s designed to bypass the will of the American people.
Apparently, Obama pays little attention to the will of American people, or to Rasmussen for that matter. If he did, perhaps he would not have a presidential approval index of -19.
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Copyright 2010 by Craig Covello. All rights reserved. Used with Permission