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Home > Article Categories > Bankruptcy Information > Kaiser Says Healthcare Was Not Major Influence in MidTerm Elections

Kaiser Says Healthcare Was Not Major Influence in MidTerm Elections

What is the future of the Health Care Overhaul Law, now that Republicans control the House of Representatives? Numerous exit polls were conducted following the recent election to determine public sentiment and the potential future regarding the health care law. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll conducted last week studied the role that health care reform played in voters' decisions and greater public sentiment about the new health care law.

Kaiser's poll demonstrated that while health care reform was a factor in many voters' decisions, it was not a dominant one. Instead, the survey found that the most important topic to voters was the economy/jobs. This was the factor mentioned by voters most often (29 percent), leading other factors such as party preference (25 percent), the views of the candidates themselves (21 percent), health care (17 percent), government spending and the budget deficit (9 percent), general dissatisfaction with the way things work in Washington (8 percent), and taxes (5 percent).

Looking in more depth at the 17 percent of respondents who listed health care as an influence on their vote, Kaiser found that these people were more likely (59 percent vs. 44 percent) to back a Republican candidate for Congress. The health care voters were also more likely (56 percent vs. 33 percent) to say they have a "very unfavorable" view of the law. While health care wasn't the overall top issue in the recent election, those people for whom it was a key voting issue mostly felt negatively about the health care reform law and felt like the Republican party would better remedy the situation.

Based on the survey, Kaiser Family Foundation gathered that "Americans remain divided about what lawmakers should do," citing that 21 percent of the public favor expansion of the health reform law, 19 percent want to leave it as it is, about 25 percent want to repeal parts of the law, and 24 percent want the entire law repealed. A majority of mid-term voters want to see the law repealed either in part or entirely. Americans are rather strictly divided on this issue along partisan lines. 66 percent of people who voted for Democratic candidates want the law either expanded or left as is, and 80 percent of people who voted for Republican candidates support either full or partial repeal.

As the media churns over the issue, it seems as if Republicans will try to undermine the law to some extent, but it is believed that they will be only partially successful and do not have enough power to repeal the law entirely. If they accept that they will have to pick their battles, Congress will likely attack the individual mandate, a key provision in the law that has not been well received, with two-thirds of the general public in support of repealing it. However, several other key provisions of the health care reform law have proven to be popular, even among those who support a full or partial repeal of the law. Most of the supporters of repeal would actually like to keep tax credits for small businesses offering coverage, the prohibition on insurance companies denying coverage based on medical history or health condition, the gradual closing of the Medicare prescription drug ?doughnut hole?, and financial subsidies to help low and moderate income Americans purchase coverage.

The poll covered 1,502 adults, 1,017 of whom reported voting in the mid-term election.

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