Political Picture Still Dreary For Some Dems Who Backed Health Reform
National Journal: "Just over half of Americans likely to vote in next week's midterms want the next Congress to repeal this year's health care overhaul if Republicans gain power on Capitol Hill, according to a new poll, a dramatic rebuke to a sitting president and freshly minted statute. Fifty-one percent of voters most likely to vote support taking the new health care law off the books if the GOP takes the House and Senate, or either, while 41 percent oppose repeal, according to the latest Society for Human Resource Management/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, conducted with the Pew Research Center" (O'Sullivan, 10/25).
Related, earlier news summary: Politics And Health Law: Dems' Divergent Strategies; Mixed Polls On 'Repeal And Replace' (10/16)
Kaiser Health News and USA Today profile one congressional district in Florida where voters are concerned about changes to Medicare, as called for in the health law. "As emotions run high over the law, anger and fear about its impact on Medicare - whether founded or not - could be a deciding factor in some particularly close congressional races, especially in areas where there are large numbers of seniors, say political analysts such as Robert Blendon, professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health. 'It could make a difference in any one of these races,' he said" (Serafini, 10/26).
Democrats have allies in some of their uphill battles. Politico reports, "Big Labor's big threat to punish misbehaving Democrats has largely evaporated in the heat of the midterms, as unions now scramble to rescue incumbents they once pilloried for opposing health care reform. It's a bitter, but necessary, political pill, considering that would-be Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in the House, has threatened to roll back many of the pro-union policies of President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats. ... The must-save list now includes former pariahs such as Maryland's Frank Kratovil Jr., Colorado's Betsy Markey, who voted no on the first House health care vote, and even Zack Space of Ohio, whose opposition to health reform prompted the Service Employees International Union and the Communications Workers of American to start a website urging members to oppose Space in the general election, is getting help" (Thrush, 10/26).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.