Tuesday January 12, 2010

Faith in Obama’s Health Handling Hits New Low

By Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 12, 2010 ( – A new poll released by CBS News shows that public approval of President Obama’s handling of the health care overhaul has reached a new low.

In the telephone poll conducted Jan. 6-10, only 36 percent of Americans said they approve of Obama’s handling of health care, while 54 percent disapprove.

Obama’s latest approval rating shows a six-point drop from last month, and is eleven points lower than the 47% approval rating in October. Since then, the atmosphere of high partisan tension dominating Congress has been reflected in higher-than-average turnouts reported at townhalls across America, where citizens have been anxious to share deep misgivings about the health bill to lawmakers at home for the recess.

The latest Rasmussen poll on public approval of health care Monday showed the majority of Americans opposed 55%-40%, a margin that has held fairly consistent in recent weeks. Yet the margin of those who feel strongly about the bill continues to grow wider: well over twice as many voters are now strongly opposed to the bill as those strongly in favor, 54%-19%.

Democrat lawmakers are courting a further wane in public approval polls as they doggedly pursue final negotiations to merge the House and Senate versions of the health bill in private. The entire Republican party and conservative Democrat lawmakers have been shut out of the meetings – as well as C-SPAN cameras, despite a petition from the network to allow full transparency for the crucial negotiations.

Democrat leaders are seeking to produce a bill that can pass both chambers and land on President Obama’s desk by some time in February, although leaders have grown more reticent about setting a specific goal in recent days.