More Americans now say it is not the federal government's responsibility to make sure all Americans have healthcare coverage (50%) than say it is (47%). This is a first since Gallup began tracking this question, and a significant shift from as recently as three years ago, when two-thirds said ensuring healthcare coverage was the government's responsibility.
The problem here is the grass is always greener, OR, that once they got what they asked for, they realized just how badly the politicians would muck it up and no longer want it.
The high point for the "government responsibility" viewpoint occurred in 2006, when 69% of Americans agreed. In 2008, this percentage fell to 54%, its previous low reading. This year, in the midst of robust debate on a potentially imminent healthcare reform law, the percentage of Americans agreeing that it is the government's responsibility to make sure everyone has health insurance has fallen even further, by seven points, to 47%. Half of Americans now say this is not the government's responsibility.
The more they push, the more information that comes out about the bad bills now being discussed and debated, the more Americans don't like it.
More surprising however is when asked about replacing our whole healthcare system vs maintaining the present one.
Throughout this decade, a plurality of Americans have consistently favored maintaining the current system, although support has fluctuated. In November 2007, the edge for the private system over the government-run system was just 7 points, vs. a 31-point gap in 2004. The current 29-point gap is thus at the high end of the historical range.
Almost 9 out of 10 Republicans and Republican leaners favor maintaining the current healthcare system based mostly on private health insurance. Democrats and Democratic leaners favor the concept of replacing the current system with a government-run system, but Democratic opinion is less monolithic than Republican opinion; more than a third of Democrats would favor maintaining the current system.
As the Democrats in the Senate, Congress and Obama, continue to push their 'public option," they are bleeding support from the American people.
This will make it all that much harder for the Senate to get a plan passed and for any final version of Obamacare to get jammed through Congress.