Some Dems Face Criticism At Home For Health Law
Some Americans, angry with health reform, are also worried about the direction the country is headed as Democrats spend the Easter recess touting the new law.
The Hill: "Some politically vulnerable Democrats are getting an earful from constituents about their yes votes on healthcare reform. The criticism from constituents is not as fervent as the feedback members of Congress received at last summer's town halls. But some voters have let legislators know they were not pleased with the passage of healthcare reform." The Hill highlighted criticism directed at Democratic Reps. Schauer (Mich.), Mitchell (Ariz.), Kanjorski (Pa.), Perriello and Carney. (Va.), who is in a tough reelection race, was pressed by a constituent on the fairness of the new law (Miller, 4/1).
The Washington Times: Florida may provide the "most powerful - and consequential - aftershocks" to health reform as Democrats struggle in races for Governor, the Senate and the House in that state. "Democrats note that they have seven months to turn the trend by Election Day. But a Mason-Dixon poll released this week shows the hurdle that the lengthy fight over health care has placed in their path. If the numbers don't rebound, Florida and its prize of 27 electoral votes may not go to Mr. Obama in 2012 as they did in 2008" (Curlin, 4/2).
Yet, U.S. News & World Report notes, "Democrats and the White House have been rejuvenated by enactment of the massive bill, which President Obama signed last week. This changed the political landscape, at least for the moment, by showing that the Democratic majority in Congress could get things done by working with the administration. The newly combative Democrats' goal between now and November, party strategists say, will be to attack Republicans not only for opposing the bill but for seeking to roll back key benefits in the new law. The theory is that it's unpopular to take away benefits once they are given, and the Democrats will portray the Republicans as cantankerous and stingy obstructionists who want to do just that" (Walsh, 4/1).
The Washington Post: "Of the 26 percent of people who described themselves as 'angry' about the new law in a recent Washington Post poll, virtually all also said the country was on the wrong track." Some of the people angry about health reform are also concerned about illegal immigration, have a distrust for the government and believe that the health reform bill represents a "major and negative change for the country ... In the late-March poll, the 'angry' population overlapped generally with those who identified as Republicans. They were overwhelming white (94 percent) and conservative (73 percent)" (Somashekhar and Bacon, 4/2).