One number in this new Gallup poll on health-care reform caught my eye, because, oddly, it has good news for both sides of the debate. Gallup asked the 48% of people who oppose health care reform about why they're against the Democrats' plans. The most popular reason, cited by 20% of people, was a concern that the plan would raise premium prices or end up costing them more. That's good news for Republicans. It means their talking points are getting through. The notion that the cost of health insurance would rise was repeated by several Republicans at the recent White House summit. When Gallup asked the same question last September, only 9% of people were most worried about their costs going up. Score one for the Republican message machine. (Interestingly, only 2% of people were worried about abortions being covered. I guess that line of attack isn't sticking.)
But this nugget is also good news for Democrats. Why? Because the CBO declared, after rigorous analysis of the Senate bill, that premium prices would actually go down by 7-10%. That means that if Obama ends up signing the legislation into law, the same health-care plan you have now will be cheaper. (Ezra Klein notes though that prices will go up for some people who don't get insurance through their place of work, but that's largely because subsidies will help them buy more expensive, comprehensive plans not necessarily because they are forced to pay more out of pocket.) So, if health care actually passes, and people don't see their premiums rise, a significant portion of residual anger at Democrats could very well subside. So Dems win too.