This bill will do absolutely nothing. It will slightly increase the amount of money we spend on health care. So what could you do politically to do something about that? Well, I wouldn't mind a single-payer. Frankly, I'd prefer a single-payer to what we have now, because that actually would control costs.
My preferred option, though, would be to give consumers choice. There are health economists, (inaudible). There was a bill, called the Wyden-Bennett bill. And people said, oh, it's politically impossible.
Well, this bill, right now -- in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, has 32 percent support. I think I could get 32 percent support for some consumer-related bill that would...
KRUGMAN: I think this is actually important. A fair number of the people who say they don't support it wanted something stronger, wanted something more aggressive. So it doesn't break down that way.
And if you ask people about specific provisions, by and large, they get public support. I know the example of Massachusetts. This is, kind of, a Massachusetts-type program for the United States, better than a Massachusetts program, but along those lines.
If you ask people, do you approve of -- now that they have it in Massachusetts -- do you approve of it, it's not very favorable. If you ask people, do you want to get rid of it or do you want to maintain it and perhaps extend it, overwhelming support, 79 percent of the Massachusetts public wants the program to continue.
I think that's the way this is going to work. This bill is going to be -- people will complain. They'll say, oh, this isn't what I want; this isn't good. You'll ask, do you want to go back on it, and overwhelmingly, they'll say no.
TAPPER: And you think -- you think -- you would go farther. I couldn't really get Senator McConnell to say that Republicans should campaign on repealing Obama care as they call it. But you think they should campaign?
DOWD: I think if this bill passes, it's the best thing for the Republican Party in the short run if this bill passes. I think there's no question about the polling on this as consistent. The majority of the country is opposed to it. The majority of the country thinks their health care, their own health care costs will go up. The majority of the country thinks the overall cost of the systems will go up. And the majority thinks their care will get worse.
Now we can argue in Washington or whatever at the Capitol and say we know better than the public does on this or we know what they should get, but the country is decided on this. The country is overwhelmingly decided on this. And Congress has proceeded to go against what the public wants and pass a bill. And whether it is good in parts, bad in parts, whatever it happens to be, the country doesn't want it. And if it passes in January and they don't sell it, which I don't think they're going to do, because they have to figure out it's negative in its entirety, they're going to go on to jobs but it's going to be an albatross on almost every Democrat in a swing district in the country.
TAPPER: I want to come to you in a second, but in fact one of the members of Congress speaking against the health care bill is a former freshman Democrat from Alabama now freshman Republican from Alabama, Parker Griffith. This is what the National Republican Campaign Committee was saying about Parker Griffith last year in a TV ad.
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