As of today, Real Clear Politics shows that 41% of the American people are supportive of the Democrats health care bill, while 48% are opposed. This isn't enough for either side to claim the American people are on their side or against the others. When I look at this, it tells me they are undecided even after the issue has been debated for over a year. Seeing how the debate has taken place, it makes sense. Health care is one of the most complicated issues any policy maker can deal with, and frankly, the Democrats or the press has done a good job explaining it, and the Republicans are saying anything to make sure it dosen't get passed.
Now, once the Democrats bill pass their health care bill this week, they will undoubtedly claim a huge victory. Earlier this week Nancy Pelosi said it would be a fundamental change if the bill is passed. But the truth is the effects of the bill won't be seen for most Americans until a few years down the road, and will be a non-factor in the coming elections because the law won't have any immediate effect. What people will be voting on is how Democrats have been running the country.
Democrats will have to answer questions on the stimulus, bailout, and if they have any ideas on how to get the economy moving faster.
What can have a faster effect on the economy, and people's well being, is a comprehensive energy bill that focuses on green technology and becoming less reliant on importing oil. There won't be a lot of time before politicians are fully focusing on their elections, but the great thing about energy bills is that their easy.
While Arizona can put money into developing solar technology, New York can do the same for nuclear. Different types of power are better for different parts of the country, and the states can use their own natural resources to determine which type of energy source is best for them.
Any real energy plan will require a variety of new technologies to be developed. As long as the bill creates grants to incentivize states to develop those technologies, even Republicans would be hard pressed not to vote for it.
While an effective way to speed the development of green technology would be helped by cap and trade, it won't be necessary if the demand for these technologies is already high. Even Al Gore admitted recently that we have more time to combat global warming then we first thought. People in Greenpeace shouldn't complain if cap and trade isn't in the energy bill signed into law if new power sources that don't emit any CO2 are being used and developed.
People like green technology because they know it will create jobs. When President Obama visited OPOWER, people were more excited to learn about the company then why the president went their in the first place.
By passing a comprehensive energy bill, Democrats can claim (with the combination of the stimulus and bailout) that they have a handle on things, and the country is being steered in the right direction with them at the helm.