Why Dems Are Obsessed by Health Reform

They believe the liberal base expects them to deliver and will punish them if they don’t.

By JOHN FUND
The Wall Street Journal
December 4, 2009

Voters are increasingly worried about unemployment, but Democratic leaders in Congress remain obsessed with passing health- care reform. Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin was asked recently if a health-care bill would pass the Senate by the end of this month. “It must,” he said. “We have to finish it.”

Still, many in the trenches are uneasy about the sprawling, complex bill they privately acknowledge has no bipartisan support, doesn’t seriously tackle soaring costs and will increase insurance premiums. That may explain Majority Leader Harry Reid’s haste—he has ordered a rare Sunday session this weekend to hurry up the debate. Public support for the bill averages only 39.2% backing in all polls compiled by Pollster.com.

But buried in the surveys is an explanation for the Democratic obsession to pass the bill: An overwhelming 76% of Democrats back it. “They believe the liberal base expects them to deliver and will punish them if they don’t,” says Democratic pollster Doug Schoen, who worked for Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

That fear is backed up by a new poll taken for the Daily Kos, the left-wing Web site: 81% of self-described Republicans say they are certain or likely to vote in 2010 compared to 65% of independent voters and only 56% of Democrats. “Democrats have simply not been given enough of a reason to come out and vote yet,” writes liberal blogger David Dayen. “The left is waiting for that long-promised ‘change’ they can believe in.”…

…The party leadership has made it clear that anyone who votes against health care will have a difficult time passing their own bills in the future…

The entire article is at WSJ.

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