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The Public, Health Care Reform, and Views on Repeal

With the U.S. House of Representatives scheduled to vote on repeal of the health reform law next week, the latest Kaiser Family Foundation data note revisits some recent public opinion findings on the topic. Kaiser’s December Health Tracking Poll found the public divided on the question of repeal: one in four (26 percent) wanted to repeal the law in its entirety; 25 percent wanted to repeal parts of the law and keep other parts; one in five (21 percent) wanted to leave the law as it is; and one in five (20 percent) wanted to expand the law beyond its current footprint. As has been true since the start of the health care debate in 2009, these views were extremely partisan in nature. Most Democrats favored either leaving the law as is or even expanding it while a majority of Republicans backed a complete repeal, and Independents took their place in the middle. Even though roughly half the public favors repealing at least parts of the health reform law, when asked in November whether each of six specific provisions should be repealed, majorities wanted to keep five of them.