President Obama and Democrats often stress the urgency of passing health care reform now. It just can't wait any longer, they say. But a new Gallup survey shows that the public is in no such rush to remake the health care system.
In its latest poll, Gallup asked the following question: “If Congress is going to reform the health care system, should Congress deal with health care reform on a gradual basis over several years, or should Congress try to pass a comprehensive health care reform plan this year?” Fifty-eight percent of those questioned want reform on a gradual basis, versus 38 percent who want it now.
Broken down by political party, the results show that Democrats are the only ones who want reform now — 59 to 39 percent. Everybody else wants Congress to slow down: 63 percent of independents want gradual reform, along with 77 percent of Republicans.
By the way, Gallup also found significantly less support for a public option than the much-talked-about Washington Post poll from yesterday. The new Gallup survey shows 50 percent in favor of a public option, and 46 percent opposed. In yesterday's Post article, headlined “Public Option Gains Support; Clear Majority Now Backs Plan,” the paper reported that 57 percent of Americans support a public option. The Gallup survey shows no such clear majority.