We’ve reached the healthcare climax: The U.S. House is supposed to vote on the reform bill this week. Will it pass?
The outcome is still up in the air. Democrats don’t have all the votes they need, according to a Reuters report yesterday, but House leaders are confident they will. Republicans are bent on preventing the bill from passing. “We’re going to do everything we can to make it difficult for them, if not impossible to pass the bill,” said House Republican John Boehner, quoted by Reuters.
America is watching. The issue now tops the public’s agenda, according to Pew’s News Interest Index. This is a weekly poll “aimed at gauging the public’s interest in and reaction to major news events.”
Thirty percent name healthcare reform as the story they most closely followed last week. Only 18% of news coverage was devoted to this topic. Next on the interest list is the Chilean earthquake (22%), then the economy (13%).
Most Americans (52%) still think healthcare reform won’t pass this year, but that’s actually an improvement: Before Obama started his latest full-court press, the doubters represented 62% of Americans.
And, a growing number of Americans—now up to 39%—say that a reform bill will past in 2010.
Some say the vote on healthcare reform is also the vote on the Obama presidency. If it doesn’t pass, he won’t be able to get other important legislation passed, and he’ll join the list of well-intentioned, ineffectual one-term presidents.
Where do you stand today on healthcare reform? Are you following the news on it closely? If you had the deciding vote in your hand, how would you cast it?