Steven Thomma reports this morning in the Miami Herald that voters actually favor the new healthcare reform law, as determined by a new McClatchy Newspapers-Marist poll. The post-election survey reportedly states that 51 percent of registered voters want to keep the law or change it to do more, while 44 percent want to repeal it or change it to do less. Despite the Republican rhetoric that the recent mid-term elections represent a mandate to repeal the controversial law, many Americans actually favor many aspects of the bill.
Not surprisingly, voters favor aspects of the bill that benefit patients. The requirement that insurance companies provide coverage to people with pre-existing conditions is favored by 59% of respondents, with 36% opposed. Allowing children to remain on a parent’s insurance policy until the age of 26 is also popular, with 68% of respondents favoring and 29% against. Additionally, closing the “doughnut hole” in Medicare prescription drug coverage was favored by 57% of the respondents, compared to 32% against.
The results of the poll portend a more complex and challenging political landscape ahead for the Republicans in Congress than perhaps anticipated. It will be difficult to repeal bill in its entirety when significant portions are so popular. Instead, this may represent the opportunity to create a truly bipartisan solution to America’s healthcare system problems.