Country split on health reform: poll
by Brendon Nafziger
, DOTmed News Associate Editor | January 07, 2011
A wafer-thin plurality favors repealing the health reform bill, according to a Gallup poll released Friday, as the newly GOP-controlled House looks to stage a test vote on overturning what they consider "job-killing" legislation.
And further piling heaps of kindling on the debate, a preliminary Congressional Budget Office report released Thursday night estimates repealing health reform would add $230 billion to the deficit over the next decade and cause 32 million fewer Americans to be insured.
The Gallup poll of 1,025 adults surveyed Jan. 4 and Jan. 5 found 46 percent favor repeal of the Obama administration's signal legislative achievement against 40 percent who oppose it. Fourteen percent had no opinion. The margin of error was 4 percentage points, Gallup said.
Unsurprisingly, the split falls along party lines, with eight out of 10 Republicans backing repeal, and two-thirds of Democrats opposed. Independents are closely divided, with 43 percent pro-repeal and 39 percent against. They're also more unsure: nearly one in five is uncertain or doesn't have an opinion on repeal.
One of the starkest splits, though, is between generations, according to USA Today. Half of adults under 30 want to keep the health bill as it is, while less than a third back repeal. But older adults, between 50 and 64, back repeal by equal margins, the paper said.
Republicans under new House Speaker John Boehner plan on holding a test vote on their health reform repeal bill, H.R. 2, on Friday, setting the stage for the real vote Wednesday. The bill is expected to pass the House, but succumb in the Senate, as Republicans lack the votes needed to overcome Democrats who have vowed to block all repeal efforts.
Republicans also dismiss the CBO's report, which estimates repeal would add $145 billion to the deficit by 2019, and $230 billion by 2021, as various budget-controlling measures in health reform get scrapped. The report also says 32 million Americans now set to get insurance under reforms wouldn't be on the rolls.
Boehner said the CBO can only make estimates from assumptions included in the bill, and these were faulty. A Republican counter-report released Thursday argued Obama's health reform legislation would add nearly $700 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years.