Frum to GOP:Don’t be the party that wants to take coverage away. Be the party that makes coverage work better.
Anyone in the GOP listening, you suppose?
If I were working for a 2012 Republican presidential aspirant, I’d be preparing now for this debate question: “Governor/Senator: Do you believe that the federal government should ensure that all Americans can buy an affordable health-insurance policy?”
It’s a tough question. If you answer “no” — well, you are putting yourself pretty clearly on the wrong side of public opinion.
Americans may be divided on the Democrats’ recent health reform. They don’t like taking money out of Medicare; they don’t like the idea of the government making health decisions for them. (I know those two positions sound inconsistent, but hey: I’m reporting, not judging.)
But on the specific question I just asked, the American public expresses itself more than 70 percent in favor, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. In a survey conducted during the George W. Bush years, The New York Times tested Americans’ generosity. What if helping the less advantaged increased the cost of your own health insurance? Forty-eight percent were still in favor of a government plan; only 38 percent said they were not. What if the plan added $500 to your tax bill? Forty-nine percent were in favor, 44 percent said “no,” with independents polling slightly higher in the direction of “yes.”