The Wall Street Journal Wednesday painted a bleak picture of Capitol Hill Democrats wandering about without a map on health reform in the wake of the Scott Brown victory in Massachusetts, as if the blow of recognition that an anti-health reform Republican is taking Teddy Kennedy’s seat has dazed the caucus leaders out of all proportion, leaving them foggy on the fact that they’re still sitting atop an enormous majority.
“After focusing intensely on health care for months, Democratic leaders have removed completion of the overhaul from their agenda indefinitely, and even talk of the subject is scarce,” wrote the Journal’s Janet Adamy.
One emerging Democratic strategy is to break apart the health care bill and take out the most popular chunks and hand them off to swing district Democrats. Rep. Betsy Markey, for example, has been chosen by leaders to introduce a bill that would end the anti-trust exemption the health insurance industry has enjoyed for decades.
Rep. Jared Polis, meantime, is leading a charge to recapture the momentum by asking Senate leaders to pass health reform with a public health insurance option through the partisan parliamentary move known as reconciliation.
A poll completed last week here suggests it’s a smart play with the voters.
As the Colorado Independent reported Wednesday, a Research 2000 Colorado poll was conducted for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy for America, and Credo Action on January 30 and 31 that tapped 600 statewide likely 2010 general election voters.
The poll showed wide support in the state for health reform and for the public option.
Co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Adam Green, told the Colorado Independent that for Sen. Michael Bennet, for example, the takeaway is pretty clear: “It’s a political winner to do what Polis just did in the House– to lead the charge to add the public option back into the bill.”
Green forwarded beginning results to the Colorado Independent in the form of answers to two questions.
Would you favor or oppose the national government offering everyone the choice of buying into a government administered health insurance plan — something like the Medicare coverage that people 65 and older get — that would compete with private health insurance plans?
This past week, Colorado Congressman Jared Polis led the charge in the House of Representatives to add a public health insurance option into health care reform, resulting in over 70 other House members joining him on a public statement of support for the public option. Is this the kind of leadership you expect from those who represent Colorado, or do you disapprove of Polis’s actions?
Interviewees for the poll were selected through random variation of the last four digits of their telephone numbers. A cross-section of exchanges was utilized in order to ensure an accurate reflection of the state. Quotas were assigned to reflect the voter registration of distribution by county.
The margin of error is 4%. Research 2000 also does polling for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Lexington Herald-Leader, Fort Wayne News Sentinel,South Bend Tribune, and Reno Gazette-Journal, and dozens of other media outlets.
Men: 289 (48%)
Women: 311 (52%)
Democrats: 238 (40%)
Republicans: 223 (37%)
Independents: 139 (23%)
White: 512 (85%)
Hispanic: 66 (11%)
Black: 18 (3%)
Other: 4 (1%)
Obama Voters: 306 (51%)
The organizations will be releasing additional results from their poll later this week.