On healthcare, confusion reigns

A new poll shows that the public doesn't really know what the Democratic proposals involve

Published September 1, 2009 6:45PM (EDT)

When it comes to healthcare, Americans are confused and seemingly becoming more confused every day. While Congress continues to debate the specifics of healthcare reform legislation that it may theoretically one day hold a vote on, a new poll from CBS News found that two-thirds of Americans think the proposals being bandied about in Washington are confusing.

Confusion reigns among both parties, according to the poll -- 69 percent of Republicans and 58 percent of Democrats said they're unclear about what's being proposed.

Much of the public's confusion is attributable to the likes of Fox News, Glenn Beck and the conservative groups working actively against reform by spreading misinformation. But there's a fair amount of blame available for supporters too: The poll also showed that 60 percent of Americans believe President Obama hasn't explained his plans clearly enough.

It's true that Obama has held town halls and given press conferences to try to drum up support for healthcare reform, but the lack of a set proposal seems to be hurting him. Because he's deferred to Congress to hammer out reform legislation, Obama can't say what exactly reform will entail until Congress settles on the details.

By Vincent Rossmeier

Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.

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