Obama popularity plummets 11 points, Q-poll finds; health reform a no-goby Dara Kam | August 20th, 2009
Worries about President Obama’s health-care proposals have contributed to his plummeting popularity among Floridians, according to poll results released Thursday, leaving him in a virtual tie between those who approve and disapprove of his performance.
Obama’s 47-percent approval rating among likely Florida voters was the lowest in the nation of any poll conducted by Quinnipiac University. The president’s approval rating in Florida dropped 11 points since June, the poll found.
In Thursday’s results, 48 percent of likely Florida voters disapproved of Obama’s performance. The survey had a margin of error of 3 percent.
The poll also found that nearly three out of four Floridians don’t trust Obama to keep his promise to reform health care without increasing the federal budget deficit.
On the other hand, the poll found that a majority of voters — 58 to 36 percent — support creating a government-backed health insurance plan to compete with private insurers, despite protests from opponents who liken the concept to socialism.
Even some congressional Democrats have backed away from the government option, which is opposed by many insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers and doctors.
Critics of the government plan say it would thwart competition. They warn that other provisions in which Medicare would pay for end-of-life counseling could lead to the creation of “death panels” and euthanasia.
The “death panel” claims are nonsense, health care experts agree. Most private insurers already pay doctors to perform the service, said University of Florida professor Paul Duncan, who had no role in the survey.
“This notion that people are going to sit around and decide whether to kill granny is utter fiction,” said Duncan, chairman of the UF Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy.