Hello, Haven't We Met Before? : Shots - Health News Clinton pollster Stan Greenberg channels former baseball star and coach Yogi Berra when it comes to describing the state-of-play on health care.
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Hello, Haven't We Met Before?

Pollster Stan Greenberg channels famed N.Y. Yankees Coach Yogi Berra Ron Frehm/AP hide caption

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Ron Frehm/AP

Yogi Berra's famous tagline sums up how former President Clinton pollster Stanley Greenberg sees the state-of-play on health care this year: "Deja vu all over again."

"People want change, but they know if it's not done right they will pay the price," Greenberg tells NPR's Melissa Block in an interview today.

Greenberg, who recently polled the public on the very same questions that he did back in 1993, just before Bill Clinton's big health care overhaul push, got back many of the very same answers. The American people, he said, are dissatisfied with the health care system. Yet, three-quarters are satisfied with their own care.

That, he said, puts the onus on would-be changers of the status quo to explain how a significant overhaul wouldn't disrupt the care that people currently like. "Opponents have a tag-line -- government takeover."

Supporters? They've got nothin' that catchy.

But Greenberg stopped short of saying that he thinks the current effort is as doomed as the last one. In terms of public opinion, "they still tilt toward doing this," he says. And it helps that, unlike the Clinton administration, Obama is taking on the health care issue early.

"Only bad things happen if you drag this out," he says.

Listen to more of Greenberg's take later today on All Things Considered.