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Polling the People, the Counties, and the Congress

The People
A recent Zogby poll finds there is still widespread support for core aspects of health reform, though the take away is that reform must be better explained to the public. For example, almost 85% of the respondents claimed they were at least somewhat familiar with key components of current legislation in the House and Senate. The poll then indicates that about 68% of respondents support protections against pre-existing condition exclusion/rescission, but only 18.5% support an individual mandate. As we know, these provisions can not be separated at the risk of breaking down the health system into a death spiral. The Administration, lawmakers, and advocates must continue to explain these complex relationships. Also interesting, 46% of respondents would be willing to pay extra taxes every year so that everyone could have health insurance.

The Counties
An extremely useful tool showing county-by-county ranking of health outcomes for every state in the nation, with poverty being a top indicator of whether an area has poor health. In California, the unhealthiest counties were Del Norte, Siskiyou, Lake, Trinity, Yuba, Kern, Inyo, Tulare, Madera and Modoc counties. The healthiest counties were Marin, San Benito, Colusa, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Placer, Orange, Santa Cruz, Sonoma and El Dorado.

The Congress
A recent whip count indicates that 24 Senators are on record supporting reconciliation to finish health reform, with 11 signing on to the Bennet Letter to include the public option into the compromise (which includes Senator Feinstein).