Armed with nearly a dozen new polls from key swing congressional districts, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is striking a tougher tone in its bid to kill President Obama's healthcare reform plan in advance of this weekend's planned congressional vote.
Polls released by the chamber show that House candidates who oppose the president's package have the support of voters and that independent voters oppose the reforms by a 2-to-1 ratio. In a statement to Whispers, spokeswoman Blair Latoff said, "Americans aren't confused by what's in the health bill; they know what it is, and they don't like it. The question remains whether Congress will listen to their increasingly angry constituents or whether they will jam through a bad bill using gimmicks that will increase taxes and the deficit and risk employer-sponsored healthcare."
The polls play directly into the hands of Republicans who want the president to start over and give them more input into the development of a healthcare bill. In all 10 of the districts—Arizona's Eighth, Colorado's Fourth, Florida's Second, North Carolina's Eighth, Nevada's Third, New York's 24th, Ohio's First, Pennsylvania's Fourth, Texas's 17th, and Virginia's Second—a large majority of voters want a new bill. The closest margin on that issue is in Virginia 2, where 59 percent say they want a new bill and 34 percent favor the current bill.
Most voters who were polled said they fear that costs will jump under Obama's plan. By wide margins, they said that controlling costs should be the first issue addressed.