Senate Resumes Debate on Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill, Support Drops in Poll

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 30, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate Resumes Debate on Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill, Support Drops in Poll

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 30
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — The Senate resumes debate today on a health care restructuring bill that contains massive abortion funding, rationing and promotion of assisted suicide. As the debate renews following the Thanksgiving break, the White House, congressional Republicans and pro-life advocates are renewing their efforts.

One Obama administration official told CNN today that the White House is "geared up to go on offense" in favor of the pro-abortion health care bill despite Obama’s promise that he doesn’t want abortion funding.

The official said President Barack Obama and his team are planning to "push back on the distortions and misinformation… being circulated by interest groups and opponents."

The new offensive includes a video featuring Vice President Joe Biden and the presidents of the American Nurses Association and the American Association of Family Physicians.

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans continue to speak out on the consequences of the government-run health care bill and Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander of Tennessee last week sent out a messaging “pocket card” to members with talking points against the bill — portraying it as a “government takeover” of the nation’s health care system.

The efforts come as a new Gallup poll shows Americans currently tilt against Congress’ pro-abortion health care bill.

The poll found 49% saying they would advise their member to vote against a bill (or they lean that way) and 44% saying they would advocate a vote in favor of the bill (or lean toward advising a yes vote).

"Since Gallup began tracking Americans’ preferences for healthcare legislation earlier this year, there has never been a strong public mandate in favor of passing a law this year," the polling firm indicated.

In the last few weeks, Gallup notes public opinion "has shifted from a slightly positive position to a slightly negative one."

The poll found Americans with a view on the bill oppose it more than they support it.

The survey found Americans oppose the pro-abortion health care bill on a 42-35 percentage margin with 22 percent undecided. The 49-44 percentage point breakdown against the bill comes when some of those undecided adults are pressured further to opine on the bill.

Republicans are overwhelmingly opposed to new healthcare legislation — 86% would advise their member of Congress to vote against it, while 12% would want their member to support it. Democrats, on the other hand, favor it by a 76% to 17% margin. Independents oppose passage of a bill by 53% to 37%.

Support among all three party groups has declined since the early October high — falling by 6 points among Democrats, 8 among independents, and 12 among Republicans.

The poll also finds 40% of Americans approving of President Obama’s handling of healthcare policy, while 53% disapprove.

This is slightly more negative than what Gallup found from July through September, and represents his worst review to date on this issue.
Seventy-four percent of Democrats approve of Obama’s handling of the issue, but this is below the better-than 80% of Democrats who approve of the job Obama is doing as president overall.

Republicans are nearly unanimous in their views of Obama’s work on healthcare, with 89% disapproving and 6% approving. Independents are nearly twice as likely to disapprove (58%) as to approve (33%).

"Despite the considerable efforts of Congress and the president to pass health insurance reform, the public remains reluctant to endorse that goal," Gallup concludes.

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