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The coming depression blog | April 24, 2017

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Do Americans want new health care law repealed?

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to review President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform, more Americans want to see it repealed than want to keep it, a poll released on Wednesday shows. The vote fulfils a top promise made to Republican voters in the November’s mid-term elections. Republicans have also vowed to deny Mr Obama the funds to implement the law. A Rasmussen Reports poll released Monday reveals most voters believe the law will increase the cost of health care, increase the federal deficit and erode the quality of care. Though the Obama administration stepped up its public defense of the law in advance of an unsuccessful repeal vote in the Senate, the numbers suggest many Americans are not accepting the administration’s arguments.

Mr Obama, who signed the healthcare change into law in 2010, has said he will veto the bill to overturn the law if it passes in both the House and Senate. Meanwhile, the renewed debate has given congressional Democrats an opportunity vigorously to defend the law’s more popular provisions.

Americans’ views on repealing the healthcare law mirror their reactions to its passage. In October, Gallup found 40% of Americans saying passage of the healthcare law was a good thing and 48% a bad thing. The poll indicates a wide partisan divide on the issue, with 78 percent of Republicans saying they want their House member to vote to repeal the law, with only 15 percent saying they want their lawmaker to vote to let the law stand. It’s a different story for Democrats questioned, who say by a 64 to 24 percent margin that they want their House member to vote against repealing the law. Independent voters are divided, with 43 saying they want their lawmaker to vote to repeal them measure and 39 percent saying they want their House member to vote to uphold the law.

With those threats in mind, GOP leaders dared the Senate to take up the measure, and they promised to fight the healthcare law in other ways if repeal failed. “The American people deserve to see a vote in the Senate, and it ought not to be a place where legislation goes into a dead end,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said.

Cantor noted that Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) had said the debate over repeal of healthcare would be a “political win” for Democrats.

Republican Representative Michele Bachmann, a self-described member of the arch-conservative Tea Party bloc, called the law “the crown jewel of socialism” and vowed Republicans “will not stop” until they “repeal” Obama and elect a president willing to scrap the health law. Republicans have said they do not believe that many of the Medicare cuts will ever take hold. They say that government subsidies to help people buy health insurance will prove far costlier than the budget office has predicted, and that the Democrats wrote the law to mask the steep future costs of some provisions, like a new long-term-care insurance program.

At a time when American businesses are struggling and families are hurting, experts have found that moving our current health care law forward will decrease our deficit and create millions of new jobs by reducing the costs of health care for employers, allowing them to expand their workforce.

ECONOMY, DEFICIT — Jobs are a salient issue at a time of more than 9 percent unemployment. But other concerns in fact gain greater purchase: Americans by a 15-point margin, 54-39 percent, suspect the law will hurt rather than help the economy overall. And most broadly, by 62-29 percent, the public thinks it’s more likely to increase than decrease the federal deficit.

Many in the US are already benefiting from the overhaul, which has allowed for extended coverage for young adults on their parents’ healthcare plan and lower prices for prescription medicine for Medicare recipients. The US healthcare reform law was approved in March of last year, making it compulsory for Americans to buy medical insurance and illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage to customers with pre-existing conditions.

In their own report on Thursday, intended to illustrate how the law would lead to job losses, Republican leaders put the cost of the health care law “when fully implemented” at $2.6 trillion and said it would “add $701 billion to the deficit in its first 10 years.”

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