Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Consensus Among Voters, Candidates Out of the Loop

Regular readers are aware of the efforts of Kathleen O'Connor over at Code Blue Now! The last time we checked in on her efforts was back in January when we shared her efforts to poll the voting public for their input on what would constitute a national health care solution.

Well, she is at it again. Now that the numbers are in from their surveys, CodeBlueNow! has released their findings, many of which agree with George C. Halvorson's proposals in Health Care Reform Now. The Seattle Business Wire brings us the details and information collated for CodeBlueNow! by the Gilmore Research Group of Seattle, WA:

Republicans, Democrats and Independents typically think very differently about many issues. But when it comes to health care, widespread agreement exists among all voters on key issues including:
  • Universal coverage
  • Basic benefit package
  • Support of preventive care over high-tech cures
  • Health care as a shared responsibility of employer, individual and government
There was also universal agreement that a basic benefit package should include many licensed health care professionals, not just medical doctors. Ironically, none of the current candidate proposals would gain support from the public because the proposals don’t address concerns across party lines or the concerns of Independents.
To see how the results of this research compare to the plans proposed by our Presidential candidates, you can download a PDF which graphs the results. It's available on the front page of the Code Blue Now! website. It is quite interesting to observe how many times the phrase "no provision," appears next to almost every candidate's name while you go through the data.

Members of the CodeBlueNow! Honorary Board see this data as confirmation that a Voters Health Care Platform of a non-partisan nature could become a reality. If so, that platform could serve as the bedrock for effective reform efforts that cut across the rigid ideological lines of the established parties. Governor Richard Lamm (D-CO), also on the organizations honorary board, said, "It is lack of political courage -- not lack of public support -- that keeps America from Universal Coverage."
[O'Connor] says the findings about Independents are particularly interesting in this election year, because Independents are seen as a key voting group for the presidential candidates.

“The key is Independents. They shift back and forth between Republicans and Democrats depending on the issue. This means we have the chance to have a safe, problem-solving conversation that won’t explode in our faces. We Americans have more in common than we are told. We shine as a people when we toss aside party lines and focus on solving a problem.”
SOURCE: " New Research Commissioned by CodeBlueNow! Finds Surprising Agreement on Health Care Reform But None of the Current Proposals by Either Party Are Supported" 03/03/08
SOURCE: "CodeBlueNow!" 03/03/08
photo courtesy of tsanfranannie, used under this Creative Commons license

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