For the first time, most voters expect health reform repeal

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | December 20, 2010
For the first time since the Obama administration's health reform legislation passed in March, a slim majority of likely U.S. voters believe it's going to be repealed.

A Rasmussen Reports survey released Monday found that 52 percent of likely voters think it's at least somewhat likely the health plan will be scrapped. About one-third of voters think repeal is unlikely. However, only 16 percent think repeal is very likely, the surveying outfit said.

The opinions are undoubtedly fueled by the Republican takeover of the House in November, as well as a federal judge's ruling last week that the law's so-called individual mandate is unconstitutional. The mandate requires Americans to buy health insurance by 2014 or face fines, and is needed to help make expansion of coverage possible, the bill's supporters say.

But, in some respects, expectations of repeal could also be wishful thinking, the report suggests. Rasmussen said 55 percent of voters favor repealing the law, with only 41 percent wanting to keep it. The polling group said support for repealing the bill has ranged from 50 to 60 percent since its March passage.

However, although a tiny majority of voters seem to want to get rid of the bill, they don't want to throw out all of it. A November Rasmussen poll found 52 percent of likely voters wanted Congress to review the bill piece-by-piece and keep the parts it likes.

The current poll was conducted between Dec. 17-18 over the phone with 1,000 likely voters. The margin of error is 3 percentage points, Rasmussen said.