ONE SENATOR’S CHOICE: OBAMACARE OR REELECTION
A Zogby Poll this week illustrates the stark choice facing Senate Democrats as they have to decide whether or not to vote for ObamaCare. The poll shows that Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln, high up on the list of vulnerable Senate Democrats seeking reelection in 2010, literally faces a choice between being reelected and voting for the bill.
The Zogby Poll shows Arkansans opposed to the Obama/Reid bill by 28-64, with 50 percent “strongly opposed” to the legislation. To swim in the face of such a current of public opinion is risky business for a U.S. senator.
Lincoln’s most likely Republican opponent, state Sen. Gilbert Bennett, is hot on her heels in the poll, trailing by only 41-39. But asked who they would support if Lincoln votes for ObamaCare, Arkansas voters switch to Bennett, giving him a 49-36 victory. That Lincoln goes from two points ahead to 13 points behind over one Senate vote illustrates the potency of the opposition to healthcare changes.
Most Arkansans don’t know how Lincoln will vote. Forty-two percent predicted that she would back the bill, but 24 percent said she was more likely to oppose it. Thirty-six percent did not know.
Her fellow Arkansas senator, Mark Pryor (D), is also in play on this legislation. Thirty-five percent of his voters think he will vote yes, while 18 percent think he will vote no and 47 percent don’t know.
While Pryor is not up for reelection this year, he is also almost certainly signing his political death warrant if he votes for the bill.
This survey, taken by Zogby, was funded by the League of American Voters as part of its efforts to influence swing senators and defeat the healthcare legislation. The League has been running ads in Arkansas aimed at explaining the costs of the bill both for the old and the young. The polling shows that the ads are working.
The League has run ads in Indiana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Louisiana, North Carolina, Virginia, Maine, Montana, Colorado, Florida and Connecticut to push swing senators to oppose the bill. It will retain Zogby to do surveys in many of these states to bring home to their senators how strongly those they represent do not want this bill to pass.
Please help the League to fund these efforts. The League has raised over $3 million in its health care campaign but needs $2 million more in the coming months.
CLICK HERE to donate to fund this campaign
As part of the League’s work against the bill, Dick went to Arkansas on Thursday, November 19th to tour the state and to publicize the findings of the Zogby Poll. In three press conferences (in Little Rock, Conway, and Hot Springs), Dick warned Senator Lincoln about how strongly her constituents feel about the bill.
The recent decision of the federal government to recommend that women abstain from annual mammograms illustrates well, exactly how Obamacare would force a deterioration in the quality of medical care, particularly for the elderly.
The panel evaluating the effectiveness of mammograms did not find that they don’t work or that they do not save lives. Rather, it found that the lives they save are not “worth” the cost of annual testing. This bureaucratic balancing of human life and financial cost lies at the core of the government managed health care in the Obama Bill.
To maximize your chances of avoiding breast cancer, women over 50 should, of course, be tested annually. But to save the government money and to conserve scarce resources, the government would like them to increase their chances of becoming sick and get screened only every other year.
Under our current health care system, the government can only recommend such changes. But under Obamacare, it can and will require them.
This rationing of health care, of course, primarily effects the elderly since it is they who need care the most. Who could ask for a better illustration of how this system would work than the government’s sudden discovery that saving lives through mammograms is not worth the cost?