Health Reform May Still Face Partisan Resistance: Report

WEDNESDAY Nov. 28, 2012 -- Despite his re-election, President Barack Obama may still face Republican resistance to implementing parts of the health care reform law, a new report suggests.

Researchers analyzed newly released polls and found that 78 percent of people who voted for Obama favor implementing or expanding the Affordable Care Act, while 84 percent of those who voted for Mitt Romney want all or part of the law repealed.

The polls also showed that 92 percent of Obama voters want the federal government to continue efforts to make sure that most Americans have health insurance, while 62 percent of Romney voters oppose such efforts.

Even though Obama won the presidential race, the Republicans maintained their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and 30 of the nation's states will have Republican governors. Many of those governors and House Republican leaders are likely to oppose implementation of parts of the Affordable Care Act, according to the study authors.

"While President Obama has support to implement the [Affordable Care Act] overall, he is likely to face opposition from Republican governors and state legislators in expanding Medicaid and implementing statewide health insurance exchanges," analysis co-author Robert Blendon, a professor of health policy and political analysis at Harvard School of Public Health, said in a Harvard news release.

"In the House, [President Obama] is likely to face Republican opposition to efforts to fix or improve upon the ACA and on budget matters," he added.

The analysis of the poll results also showed that 78 percent of Obama voters and 68 percent of Romney voters oppose making large Medicare cuts as a way of reducing the federal budget deficit.

"This gap between many political leaders in both parties and their voters is likely to make finding a permanent agreement on the fiscal issues facing the country harder than most people believe," Blendon said.

The findings were published online Nov. 28 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

More information

Visit the Pew Center to learn more about the Affordable Care Act.

Posted: November 2012


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