One Year Later, Health Care Reform Still A "Hot Potato"
Just ask Mitt Romney.
Romney, a strong contender for the Republican nomination, is desperately trying to get out from under claims by the Obama Administration that the sweeping national health care reform legislation was based on what Romney did as governor of Massachusetts.
The Wall Street Journal reported: "Mitt Romney has a 'health problem' – that is, his role in passing a health care law as Massachusetts governor. The Massachusetts law is widely seen as a precursor to the national health law, which is widely unpopular among Republicans.
That may explain why Mr. Romney promised Tuesday, on the eve of the new law’s first anniversary, that one of his first acts as president would be to grant waivers so that all 50 states could opt out of the law."
A Twitter battle between Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom and Obama adviser David Axelrod erupted Wednesday. Fehrnstrom called Axelrod out, facetiously wondering if the Democratic strategist would endorse Romney's plan.
Axelrod's response: "I'm not going comment either way until he lands on his final position," alluding to a Romney flip-flop on "Obamacare." Then the kicker: "I still admire what he did in MA on health care, though. In many ways, a model for the nation!"
Recent polls aren't particularly helpful in guaging what Americans actually think about health care reform. National Journal provided results from two polls, one from CNN/Opinion Research, the other from Gallup:
"When asked as part of a CNN/Opinion Research poll if they "generally favor" or "generally oppose" the law, 59 percent of Americans said they oppose the health care law, while just 37 percent said they favor it."
However, "a recent Gallup poll that asked Americans whether it was a "good thing" or a "bad thing" that Congress passed the law found that 46 percent said it was a good thing while 44 percent said it was a bad thing."
So, there you have it. The one thing we can safely take from the polls is that America is not head-over-heels in love with the Affordable Care Act.
Knowing that, the GOP has made bashing Obamacare a top priority. At the same time, the Detroit Free Press says, most Americans have no idea what HCR actually does. So, the Republicans have made hay by tying the legislation to the down economy, while Democrats argue Obamacare is saving people money and making it easier for them to get health care.
But there is a line for Romney, House Speaker John Boehner and the rest of the gang:
"According to polls, advocating a full-blown repeal carries political risk. According to a new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation, fewer than 40% of Americans favor repeal, regardless of whether the Republicans replace it with an alternative."