It’s still all-economy, all-the-time for most Americans in August 2009. When it comes to health reform plans, if a new scheme’s costs will add to the U.S. deficit, then most Americans say, ‘no go.’

In the Quinnipiac Poll of August 5 2009, 55% of U.S. voters were concerned that Congress’s health plan would add to the deficit, and 57% said that health reform should not go forward if a plan adds “significantly” to the deficit.

Still, there are areas of agreement within the voting public:

  • 2 in 3 Americans like the option of a government insurance plan
  • 61% of Americans favor higher taxes on high income households to pay for health reform
  • 60% favor insurance subsidies for Americans who earn $43,000 and families of four earning $88,000
  • 54% favor a “pay-or-play” mandate on businesses to provide insurance to workers or to pay the government some assessment.

Quinnipiac’s analysts conclude that health reform detractors’ campaigns have been successful at eroding support for President Obama’s plans and vision for health reform. Marked erosion in support has occurred especially in younger voters (18-34), among women and lower-income voters.

Health Populi’s Hot Points: Many Americans still aren’t connecting-the-dots in the relationship between the macroeconomy and health care costs. While the President spent time trying to explain his view on why health reform is crucial to pass asap, the multi-pronged, multi-media campaign among detractors of so-called “Obamacare” seems to be accomplishing its/their goal of eroding public support between July and August.

Health reform supporters need to be much more creative and convincing on the solid benefits to individual American voters if support will be shored up by the time legislators return to the Hill for the fall session. Until then, it’s all-economy, all-the-time for mainstream Americans, who still lack confidence in the larger economy. And anti-health reform campaigns and scare tactics seem to be working rather well when people feel fiscally threatened.

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