Is health reform momentum slipping away? Plus, Jacoby on mandates

IMG_1462Obama’s health people may have to opt for a plan B in terms of strategy. Using the post election momentum to get it done quickly does not seem to be working. This from a new NPR poll of 850 voters: 


Poll respondents liked a Democratic statement on solving health care problems better than a Republican statement (51 percent to 42 percent). However, when asked about the plan now moving through Congress, a plurality of 47 percent was opposed and 42 percent said they were in favor, based on what they had heard about the plan so far.

Still, the poll suggests that health care is a high priority issue for people, consistently coming in second after the economy. So, at least we’re paying attention.

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll had similar results.

For more on what’s up, Kaiser Health News is posting daily roundups each morning, with links to national stories reporting on infighting between the Democrats, the possible demise of the public plan, genetic biologics and the revamping of MedPAC.

Also,  referring  to a Kay Lazar story that ran in Monday’s Boston Globe’s, the paper’s conservative columnist Jeff Jacoby argues against health insurance mandate – laws requiring insurers to cover certain treatments.

Rather than allow the free market to determine which medical services health plans will cover, states force consumers to pay for an array of covered benefits they may not need or want. For example, 45 states require insurance policies to include treatment for alcoholism and 34 mandate coverage of drug abuse treatment. Contraceptives are covered in 31 states, as are hairpieces in 10 states, and in-vitro fertilization in 13 states.


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