|President Obama signs health reform into law. White House, 3/23/10.|
By 49%-40% those surveyed say it was "a good thing" rather than a bad one that Congress passed the bill. Half describe their reaction in positive terms, as "enthusiastic" or "pleased," while about four in 10 describe it in negative ways, as "disappointed" or "angry."This, it should be noted, is a complete reversal from the pre-passage polls done by Gallup. A poll done by Gallup earlier this month found 48% of respondents opposed the plan that was just signed into law. This affirms the thesis that for all the political rancor and for all the Tea Party Republican extremism, Americans love a winner. The passage of this bill renewed the confidence of the Democratic base in the ability of the Democratic party to govern, and restored the faith of the American people that big things can still happen in America.
The largest single group, 48%, calls the bill "a good first step" that should be followed by more action on health care. An additional 4% also have a favorable view, saying the bill makes the most important changes needed in the nation's health care system.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that while people were confused by the political rhetoric and disgusted at the sausage making process of legislation, Americans have always liked the individual components that comprise this reform. This is what we, the proponents of reform, had predicted all along - that once reform passes, it will become popular, because it's the right thing.
Now that health reform is law, Americans are - and local media is - concentrating on the benefits of this bill. There are a whole host that go into effect immediately, and the rest are phased in over time. As the President said after the passage of this bill, this is major reform. And we all know that this is good reform that we can build on. Change, indeed, has come to America. As the dust begins to settle, the American people know it, and they like it, too.