Associated Press reporter Laurie Kellman’s October 25th article, “Patients-and patience-in health care end game,” contains a big whopper. In an article otherwise devoted to chronicling the political back-and-forth of health care negotiations, she writes:

In a time of lingering recession, there is no more compelling pocketbook issue than health care overhaul. It’s an effort that’s intensely personal because it could affect every American.

How is the statement that health care is the most compelling pocketbook issue facing Americans justified? It’s not. Polling regularly shows the overall economy, job creation, and even deficit reduction are higher priorities than is health care reform. Here’s a report on a poll conducted by Politico/Public Strategies:

As the nation struggles to climb out of a recession, 45 percent rated the economy as the most important issue in deciding their vote if the congressional election were held today, followed by 21 percent who said government spending, 20 percent who chose health care reform and 9 percent who said the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just 4 percent ranked climate change as the top issue.

So health care was third on the list of concerns Similarly Rasmussen reported on Friday that their research found that “Thirty-eight percent (38%) of voters say cutting the federal budget deficit in half in the next four years should be the Obama administration’s top priority, while 23% say health care reform is most important.”

The White House and Congressional leadership have been claiming we need health care reform right away, not because of political timing, but because it’s such a pressing concern for the American public. Polls show it’s not, so the folks in charge would better serve the people by focusing on policies to allow job creation and economic growth.