As Democrats struggle to find a way forward after Scott Brown’s upset victory in Massachusetts, the latest Kaiser Health Tracking poll should provide some comfort.
The survey conducted in January before the special election in Massachusetts, found that while Americans were divided over the current health care proposals, even critics became more supportive after being told what was actually in the bill. See the chart below:
The problem is that health reform has always been a package deal -- as Kaiser Health News' Julie Appleby and Jenny Gold illustrate in a thoughtful piece today. You can’t have guaranteed issue without an individual mandate. You can’t have an individual mandate without subsidies to make insurance affordable. You can’t have subsidies without paying for them. You can’t pay for subsidies unless you slow the growth of health care costs. You can't slow the growth of health care costs unless you change the way medicine is practiced and paid for in this country. And so on and so forth till you end up with a package of policies that looks a whole lot like what’s on the table. The challenge that remains for Democrats is convincing the public that the sum of health reform is greater than its parts.