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Jan 17th, 2011

Poll Shows Raw Feelings Easing Over Health Law

Only about one in four want to repeal law completely


Health repeal to test lawmakers’ calls for civility (NBC Nightly News, Jan. 16, 2011) — As Washington gets back to business, many hope that a lesson has been learned from the Tucson tragedy. NBC’s Mike Viqueira reports. (02:38)

By Jennifer Agiesta and Ricardo Alonso-Zalvidar

January 16, 2011

WASHINGTON — As lawmakers shaken by the shooting of a colleague return to the health care debate in Congress, an Associated Press-GfK poll finds raw feelings over President Barack Obama’s overhaul have subsided.

Ahead of a vote on repeal in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives this week, strong opposition to the law stands at 30 percent, close to the lowest level registered in AP-GfK surveys dating to September 2009.

Americans are divided over the law, but the strength and intensity of the opposition appear diminished. The law expands coverage to more than 30 million uninsured, and would require, for the first time, that most people in the United States carry health insurance.

The poll finds that 40 percent of those surveyed said they support the law, while 41 percent oppose it. Just after the November congressional elections, opposition stood at 47 percent and support was 38 percent.

As for repeal, only about one in four say they want to do away with the law completely. Among Republicans support for repeal has dropped sharply, from 61 percent after the elections to 49 percent now.

Also, 43 percent say they want the law changed so it does more to re-engineer the health care system. Fewer than one in five say it should be left as it is. …

Opposition to the law remains strongest among Republicans. Seventy-one percent of them say they’re against it, as compared with 35 percent of independents and 19 percent of Democrats. Republicans won back control of the House partly on a promise to repeal what they dismissively term as “Obamacare.” …

One of the major criticisms of the law found wide acceptance in the poll, suggesting a vulnerability that Republican politicians can continue to press.

Nearly six in 10 oppose the law’s requirement that people carry health insurance except in cases of financial hardship. Starting in 2014, people will have to show that they’re covered either through an employer, a government program, or under their own plan. …

The individual mandate started out as a Republican idea during an earlier health care debate in the 1990s. More recently, Massachusetts enacted such a requirement under Republican Gov. Mitt Romney and the Democratic state Legislature. Nowadays, most conservatives are against it, and Republican state attorneys general are suing to have the mandate overturned as unconstitutional.

Other major provisions of the law, including a requirement that insurers accept people with pre-existing medical conditions, received support from half or more of the public in the poll. …


Related reports on this site

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann speaks to a crowd of more than 200 people during a health care town hall meeting at the Ramada Inn in Rochester, Minn., Monday, Feb. 1, 2010. (Photo credit: Michele Jokinen / Post-Bulletin)

Bachmann Healthscare Strikeout (Apr. 1, 2010)

Bachmann Healthcare Paranoia (Feb. 3, 2010)

Afghanistan Price Tag Equals Health Reform Cost (Dec. 7, 2009)

Postpone Health Care Reform (Aug. 24, 2009)


6/6/2012 Update

Key Republicans Open Door To Supporting Pieces Of ‘Obamacare’

Reps. Tom Price (R-GA) and Phil Roe (R-TN) at a pen and pad with reporters June 5, 2012.
Reps. Tom Price (R-GA) and Phil Roe (R-TN) at a pen and pad with reporters, June 5, 2012. (Photo credit: Bill Clark — CQ Roll Call/Newscom via TPM)

By Sahil Kapur
Talking Points Memo
June 6, 2012

The seismic shift continues.

Key House Republicans on Tuesday left the door open to supporting pieces of “Obamacare” in a replacement package the GOP wants to be prepared with if the Supreme Court overturns the health care law later this month.

“It would be hard to write a 2,700-page bill and not have something in there that you like,” Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), a physician and leading GOP voice on health policy, told reporters in response to a question from TPM.

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), the chairman of the influential Republican Policy Committee, offered a new rationale for potentially backing some of the more popular concepts in the law: They’ve become important to people.

“We believe that the whole bill needs to be repealed,” Price said. “That being said, there are some things that have been instituted that a lot of folks have begun to rely upon and plan — make their family plans — based upon. Twenty-six-year-olds being on their parents’ insurance is one of them.”

The remarks are the latest public manifestations of the party’s gradual pivot over the last few weeks from lock-step opposition to Obamacare to a willingness to embrace its more popular provisions. The pivot comes as Republicans have been coming to grips with conceivably owning a wildly dysfunctional health care system if the Supreme Court grants them their wish in striking down some or all of the health care reform law as unconstitutional. In a shift unimaginable just a few weeks ago, some Republicans are publicly expressing support for the law’s ban on insurers turning away sick patients, for permitting young adults to remain on a parent’s policy until 26 and for closing the Medicare “doughnut hole.”

Republicans are seeking to quell the still-fierce opposition to Obamacare from the conservative movement — which detests the entire law — by reaffirming that it must be fully repealed first. But faced with the question of what comes next, they are signaling that they don’t believe it’s ultimately tenable politically to turn back the clock for sick people and young adults.

“So there are wonderful ways to solve this in addition to — or in place of — what the president’s bill did, especially in those two areas,” said Price, the No. 5 House Republican and also a physician. “And that is to provide greater choice and options for citizens to make their own health care decisions.” …

The GOP has yet to confront the economic reality that covering pre-existing conditions without some sort of mandate is widely seen by experts as problematic, if not economically untenable.

Full story


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — January 17, 2010

Missiles Pound bin Laden Refuge

In this Aug. 22, 1998 photo, Jalaluddin Haqqani, then Taliban Army Supreme Commander, talks to reporters in Miram Shah, Waziristan, Pakistan. (Photo credit: Mohhammad Riaz / AP file)

One year ago today, I reported that despite Pakistani protest, the Obama administration was ramping up its missile campaign against insurgent targets in North Waziristan along Pakistan’s northwest frontier with Afghanistan, where al-Qaida’s top leadership, possibly including Osama bin Laden himself, had taken refuge.


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — January 17, 2009

What George W. Bush Did Right

AP / Ron Edmonds

Two years ago today, on Jan. 17, 2009, I reported that by actually putting into practice the Neo-Conservative theories of pre-emptive war and unilateralism, George W. Bush demonstrated their failure more persuasively than could the most articulate critic.

5 Responses to “Weak Support for Health Repeal”
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  4. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Postpone Health Care Reform Says:

    […] Weak Support for Health Repeal (Jan. 17, 2011) […]

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