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GOP May Not Have Support To Repeal Health Care Reform

Helen Tobin |
November 9, 2010 | 10:41 a.m. PST

Staff Reporter

One week after the midterm elections, pundits and pollsters continue to discuss the factors that led to a Republican sweep in the House.  

A November tracking poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation in the days following the elections found that health care reform was a factor that influenced voters' decisions, but not the major one.

Respondents named the economy as the top concern, with 29 percent of those polled saying jobs influenced their votes.  Party preference was next at 25 percent, followed by views of the candidates themselves at 21 percent. Health care finished fourth at 17 percent.         

The majority of voters who cited health care as a major factor were against the law, but overall Americans remain divided on how lawmakers should proceed.  Expansion of health care reform is favored by 21 percent of the public, while 19 percent want to leave it as is, 25 percent want to repeal some parts, and 24 percent want the whole law to be repealed. 

When asked about specific provisions though, respondents wavered about what exactly they would like to see repealed. Everything from the subsidies to the increase in Medicare tax is popular, suggesting that full repeal may not be in America’s future. 

David Frum, a CNN.com columnist who famously lost his job at a GOP think tank for a column denouncing Republicans’ handling of health care legislation, does not believe Republicans will repeal health care.  He thinks the GOP will focus on the bill’s unpopular elements and gain political points, but stop short of a legislative battle.   

"Republicans may gain political benefit," he writes, "but Democrats get the policy. In this exchange, it is the Democrats who gain the better end of the deal. Congressional majorities come and go. Entitlement programs last forever."



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