Health Care Fight About Politics, Not Policy?
Most Americans think the fight over health care reform was primarily motivated by politics rather than policy, a new CBS News poll shows.
Americans believe that both Republicans and Democrats were fighting about health care reform because of politics, not policy, a new CBS News poll finds.
Asked why Democrats worked to pass a health care bill, 57 percent said “mostly political reasons.” Just 35 percent said it was because Democrats think the bill is good policy.
Americans had an even more cynical view of Republican motivations: Sixty-one percent said Republicans were acting on the basis of political concerns, while 29 percent said Republicans truly believed the bill was bad policy.
While partisans on both sides tended to think their party was acting out of policy concerns, independents were overwhelmingly likely to say that both parties were simply playing politics.
I’m not sure what to make of this. Asking people to dissect the motivations of people they’ve never met — indeed, mostly couldn’t name — seems rather silly.
By the end of the process, few Democrats, indeed, thought that the bill they were voting for/against was “good policy.” Most of the supporters did so holding their nose. But that doesn’t mean they were motivated primarily by politics, merely that their options were constrained by political realities.
For Republicans, the initial opposition was certainly about policy but the strategy was almost purely political. That is, the party line enforcement to ensure that ZERO Republicans voted for the bill and the attempt to defeat it outright rather than achieve some sort of bipartisan compromise that they would have nonetheless hated was calculated with an eye towards November. But that doesn’t mean that they secretly thought the bill was a good one.