Voters Split on Whether to Repeal Health Care Reform

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 9 2010 9:10 AM

Voters Split on Whether to Repeal Health Care Reform

A not-so-revealing poll from Kaiser here:

The economy/jobs was the factor mentioned by voters most often (29%), followed by party preference (25%) and views of the candidates themselves (21%). Health care ranked fourth at 17 percent. Those 17 percent of voters who named health care as one of their top voting factors were more likely than non-health care voters to back a Republican candidate for Congress (59% vs. 44%), and to say they have a "very unfavorable" view of the law (56% vs. 33%).

Looking ahead, Americans remain divided about what lawmakers should do, with 21 percent of the public favoring expansion of the health reform law, 19 percent wanting to leave it as is, a quarter wanting to repeal parts of the law, and 24 percent wanting the entire law repealed.

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So: A relatively small proportion of voters cast their votes with health care reform in mind, and a majority of those voters want repeal. I see... quite a lot of room for Democrats to reject health care reform repeal and hope that it's no longer a liability in 2012. So far, in 2010, it's a white-hot motivating factor for conservatives but not a top issue as long as it's separated from the increasing cost of premiums. (Admittedly, this is a big "as long as.") More proof for Will Saletan's argument that Democrats were right to ram through as much as they could with their 2008 wave-enhanced power, because it'll be tough to undo.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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