23 November 2010

Health Care reform law gaining public support

GOP hardliners soon to be in control of the House have made repeal of the detested healthcare reform law a cornerstone of their agenda, despite the impossibility of actually being able to repeal it, politically, at least until an election or two has passed, and despite the fact that their ascent to power had more to do with the terrible economy and high unemployment than any mandate to repeal the law. It seems that, finally, there may be movement towards increased public support for the law.  A new McClatchy poll shows a majority of Americans now in favor of the law:

A majority of Americans want the Congress to keep the new health care law or actually expand it, despite Republican claims that they have a mandate from the people to kill it, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.
The post-election survey showed that 51 percent of registered voters want to keep the law or change it to do more, while 44 percent want to change it to do less or repeal it altogether.
Driving support for the law: Voters by margins of 2-1 or greater want to keep some of its best-known benefits, such as barring insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. One thing they don't like: the mandate that everyone must buy insurance.

Of course it is the mandate that makes the whole thing hang together. And it's hardly news that people like the individual provisions and protections found within the law. From a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll:

I suspect, depressingly, that the GOP will continue to grandstand on repeal, and that they will run on repeal again in 2012, especially if the courts uphold the consitutionality of the mandate. But when push comes to shove, given the unacceptability of the status quo and the popularity of the patient protections, they will blink when it comes to actual repeal.


  1. Unless they repeal it, and say that they fought and fought, but the Democrats repealed it using dirty tactics which held other, vital programs like military or social security funding hostage. Those dirty hippies and trial lawyers. Meanwhile, the President would appologize to congressional Republicans for giving them that impression.

  2. So, the one component most unpopular in the bill is the mandates. The mandates are the most significant cost reduction measure, right? They are the Republican vision of universal healthcare, right?

    What if the President just started pushing for repeal of the mandates? He could say, "Hey, look, that was the concession to businesses and the Republicans. No Republicans voted for the bill; now, big medicine doesn't like the bill; so, cool. We'll eliminate mandates."

    It would make the bill worse, but it would help get him re-elected. Hmm.

  3. Reading the questions and the answers, it appears that majorities or large minorities of Americans want free candy, as long as it is paid for by others (people who don't currently buy insurance, or "the rich").

  4. It seems to me that the Kaise/ McClatchy polls are traditionally an outlier when it comes to assessing the nation's mood when it comes to the health care reform law. However, most if not all other polls seem to point towards a majority being against this health care reform law. See Real Clear Politics for a graph of most polls from August through November.


    Now, if you break down certain aspects (ie the popular parts of the bill), as Kaiser generally does, then people tend to agree. But I would argue that if you ask people about other aspects of the bill (Medicare cuts, potential rationing bodies, $600 1099 tax reporting, etc.), approval drops significantly.

    I think your post seems a little biased if favor of the law. That's fine, but you shouldn't misrepresent the data.

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  6. So, as I read that, at least 45-ish percent of those surveyed want there to be no requirement to buy insurance, but at the same time want people who are already sick to be able to buy healthcare.

    I weep for our country.


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