The stunning collapse in public opinion for President Barack Obama's health care plan demonstrates a weakness in the president's overall vision.
According to a new Gallup Poll, 55 percent of Americans now believe Obama is doing a poor job on health care reform, his signature issue. The main reason for this is that few understand what the deuce is going on. I analyze the news for a living, and I can't explain what the House bill would do. It's more than 1,000 pages long for crying out loud, and reading it could cause your head to explode.
Americans elected Obama to change things that are failing. No question but that the health industry is in chaos. Price gouging, frivolous lawsuits and poorly run hospitals all add to the apprehension of the regular folks. But the president is not reforming, he's reinventing. He wants the government to set up a parallel health care apparatus, a giant entanglement of entitlements.
Did I mention that no one can explain it?
It's not only confusion that is causing Americans to bail on Obamacare. Most of us value freedom and have a healthy distrust of government. Time after time, we have seen the feds screw things up: Iraq, Katrina, immigration, Vietnam, the war on drugs, public schools, the list is endless. And we are going to put our troubled appendix in the hands of these people?
If the president's plan were clearly presented with the costs spelled out, I believe it would have a chance of passing. But just about everybody knows the USA might be facing bankruptcy, which would damage Americans far more than a troubled health care system. Even though he will not admit it, there is huge financial risk in Obama's health care vision, and Americans are starting to wise up about the danger.
Finally, there is the freedom factor. Your health is obviously personal. You want to have as much control as possible when you get sick. In Canada, where the government runs the health care industry, there are waiting lists for treatment in some places and a shortage of doctors in others. Americans fear that if medical choices are dictated by the feds, that kind of chaos will happen here.
Also, federal health care means all of your medical records are in the hands of the government. Do you want that?
Don't be surprised if the federal health care plan goes down in flames and Obama is dealt his first major setback. This whole thing is poorly thought out, rushed and full of peril.
It's almost enough to make you sick.
Veteran TV news anchor and author Bill O'Reilly is a host on Fox News.